More about noun clauses

March 12, 2011pdf

We have seen that a noun clause is a subordinate clause which does the work of a noun in a complex sentence.

Since a noun clause does the work of a noun, it can be:

a)      The subject of a verb

b)      The object of a verb

c)       The object of a preposition

d)      The complement of a verb of incomplete predication

e)      In apposition to a noun or pronoun

The noun clause as a subject

In each of the following sentences, the noun clause is the subject of the verb.

  • That she should behave in such a rude manner was rather a shock.
  • What he said was not true.
  • When he will return is not known.
  • Why he left in a hurry is a mystery.
  • Whether we can start tomorrow is uncertain.

The noun clause as an object

In each of the following sentences, the noun clause is the object of the transitive verb.

  • She said that she would not go.
  • I don’t know what has become of him.
  • She denied that she had written the letter.
  • Tell me how you did this?
  • No one knows who he is.
  • Ask him if he is interested in coming.

Noun clause as the object of a preposition

In each of the following sentences, the noun clause is the object of a preposition.

  • Pay careful attention to what I say.
  • There is no point in what he says.
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