Noun Clause: Definition, types, functions, and examples.

In this lesson, we are going to what a noun clause is, its types, functions, and some examples.

Noun Clause; Definition, Types, and Functions:

There are two types of clauses; dependent clause and independent clause. A sentence must have a least one independent clause.

A clause must contain a subject and a verb ( S+V )

A noun clause is a dependent clause.

A dependent clause can’t stand itself as a complete sentence or provide a complete thought, unlike the independent clause. Also, it can be a part of an independent clause.

A noun clause starts with a conjunction like that, what, who, which, how, why, whom, whose, when, where, whether, whenever, wherever, whichever, if …

Example:

I can say, that it is easy to learn grammar. (the bold part is a dependent clause. A noun clause precisely)

This is just a recap for what we have seen in the previous lesson about the dependent an independent clause.

You can check the lesson from here.

So, in this lesson, we are going to study the noun clause further deep. You are going to see in this lesson the different types of a noun clause, its functions and more …

Note:

An object answer the question of what or whom about the verb

A subject complement answer the question of what or whom about the subject

Noun Clause functions:

These are the main functions of a noun clause with examples:

A noun clause can function within a sentence as a:

  • Subject: what john learned helped him a lot
  • Object:
    • Direct Object: I can say that grammar is really important

Note: the direct object receives the action of the verb

    • Indirect Object: my team will face whoever could be the semi-final winner.

Note: “the semi-final winner” is the direct object

  • Complement:
    • Subject Complement: The issue is that he cant find new ideas

Note: Subject complement provides extra information about the subject

    • Object Complement: You can learn grammar wherever you wich

Note: An object complement follows the direct object to describe it or complete it.

    • Preposition Complement: I’m not interested in what he wrote

Note: the preposition complement occurs after a preposition

    • Adjective Complement: john plays what makes him happy

Note: modifies a verb, an adjective, or adverb.

  • Apposition: your prediction, that you will travel soon, wasn’t true

Note: apposition describes or modifies another word, phrase, or clause.

At this point, we can say that we are covered all the functions of a noun clause within a sentence.

In the next section, we are going to provide more details about the noun clause; the functions of a noun clause depending on the noun clause types.

Note: the previous information could be enough for you because it covers all the different functions of a noun clause without extra specific details.

Noun Clause functions:

There are 5 main noun clause types with examples:

  1. That clause: I can say that grammar is easy
  2. Wh interrogative subclause: what I learned from grammarlite.com is really informative
  3. Nominal relative clause: Whoever brought the pizza is a kind person
  4. Nominal to-infinitive clause: To work hard is a great habit
  5. Nominal ing clause: Speaking English is important nowadays

As we said before every type of these noun types has its own specific functions from the functions we have seen in the previous section of this lesson.

Now, let’s see all the functions for each noun clause type with examples:

That clause:

  • Subject: that he can speak two languages helped him a lot
  • Direct object: I can say that grammar is easy
  • Subject Complement: the issue is that he couldn’t find the source
  • Adjective complement: I thought that learning a new language is difficult
  • Appositive: your thoughts, that learning a new language is hard, isn’t true

Wh interrogative subclause:

  • Subject: what I learned from grammarlite.com is really informative
  • Direct object: he is ambitious what could help him to attend his goal
  • Subject complement: the problem is who could help us with this project
  • Adjective complement: we are sure who could help us
  • Preposition complement: we are confused on what platform should we learn
  • Appositive: our confusing, where should we learn, still exist

Nominal relative clause:

  • Subject: Whoever brought the pizza is a kind person
  • Direct object: we are going so study whatever related to grammar
  • Indirect object: my team will face whoever could be the semi-final winner
  • Subject complement: grammar is what makes us good at English
  • Object complement: You can learn grammar wherever you wich
  • Preposition complement: I’m not interested in what he wrote
  • Appositive: what he wrote, his new novel, didn’t impress me

Nominal to-infinitive clause:

  • Subject: To work hard is a great habit
  • Direct object: I like to work hard
  • Subject complement: our goal is to win this year
  • Adjective complement: our team work hard to reach the goal
  • Appositive: their goal, to win this year, is really close

Nominal ing clause:

  • Subject: Speaking English is important nowadays
  • Direct object: we don’t like learning from bad sources
  • Subject complement: the goal is learning a new language

In this lesson, we have seen what a noun clause is, its types, functions, and some examples.

For better understanding, you can check also:

Dependent and Independent Clauses.