Home / Grammatical Structures / Noun Clauses: very important uses
noun clauses

Noun Clauses: very important uses

Introduction to noun clauses

A noun clause is a clause that can take the place of a noun or a noun phrase in a sentence. 

  • I don’t know the time
  • I don’t know when she is coming.

A noun clause is a subordinate/dependent clause that generally comes after the main clause. This means that the noun clause cannot stand by itself. It is usually linked to the main clause by these conjunctions:

That, which, what, who, whom, whose, where, why, when, how, if, whether, whatever, whichever, whoever, whomever, whenever, wherever,

  1. Question words: I don’t know where he lives.
  2. If or whether: I don’t know if she’s coming.
  3. That: I don’t know that he’s here yet.

In “that-clauses”, it is possible to leave out ‘that‘.

Types of noun clauses

A noun clause can be a complement of the verb be:

  • The problem is (that) I don’t have enough time to visit all my friends.
  • The difficulty was how he was going to find us in that crowded place.
  • The thing is (that) the apartment doesn’t have a view on the beach.

A noun clause can be the object of a verb:

  • Nobody thinks (that) Janet will pass her exams.
  • We all know (that) he is a generous person.
  • I wonder whether that’s a nice idea.
  • She wouldn’t say where she was heading.

We can use if/whether or wh-clause when the noun clause expresses a question or an answer to a question. Look at the following examples:

  • I’ll ask when the first English test is.
  • This receipt shows how much we have spent on food.

A noun clause is sometimes used as a subject:

  • That all the students got good grades is good news.
  • That you love me is not logical.
  • Whoever told you that is a liar.

Notice that “that all the students got good grades” is the subject of the verb “is”. When the noun clause is the subject, we cannot omit “that“; so “all the students got good grades is good news” is NOT correct.

Noun clauses are also used with the empty subject ‘it’:

  • It‘s nice (that) you have finished your tasks on time.
  • It‘s hard to say if/whether he’s going to attend the party.
  • It‘s great (that) you called me before you left home.

We can use a that-clause after certain adjectives: 

  • I’m really glad (that) you enjoyed the meal in our restaurant.
  • We were certain (that) he was to blame.
  • I’m aware (that) smoking is very bad for health.

These clauses can also be used with these adjectives:

Afraid, amused, annoyed, anxious, aware, certain, confident, conscious, convinced, delighted, determined, eager, glad, happy, horrified, impatient, pleased, proud, sorry, sure, surprised, willing, etc.

noun clauses

 

Noun clauses pdf

 

Check more grammar lessons here.

Check Also

Expressing lack of understanding

Expressing lack of understanding and asking for clarification Expressing lack of understanding When you do …

Agreeing and disagreeing

Agreeing and disagreeing / Expressing agreement and disagreement Here are various expressions of agreement and …