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.