An overview of noun clauses

April 2, 2014pdf

A complex sentence consists of one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.

Note that an independent clause can stand by itself and make complete sense. A dependent clause, on the other hand, cannot stand alone. It has to be attached to an independent clause.

There are three kinds of subordinate clauses: noun clause, adjective clause and adverb clause.

The noun clause

The noun clause serves the same function as a noun. It can be the subject or the object of the verb. It can also act as the subject complement.

Study the examples given below.

  • That he will be selected for the job is certain.

Here the noun clause ‘that he will be selected for the job’ acts as the subject of the verb ‘is’.

  • He says that he may be selected.

Here the noun clause ‘that he may be selected’ acts as the object of the verb ‘says’.

  • The rumor is that their engagement has been called off.

Here the noun clause ‘that their engagement has been called off’ acts as the complement of the subject ‘the rumor’.

  • The news that he had been arrested distressed his followers.

Here the noun clause ‘that he had been arrested’ is in apposition to the noun ‘news’.

A noun clause can also act as the object of a preposition.

  • I am really impressed with what you have done.

Here the noun clause ‘what you have done’ is the object of the preposition ‘with’.

Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."