Noun Clauses

Noun clause used as an object

He said something.

S V O

He said that he was sick.


Noun clause used as a subject

Something is your business.

S V

Whatever you do is your business.

Someone is still in the cafeteria.

S V

Whoever ate my lunch is still in the cafeteria.




What did he say?








What is your business?





Who is in the cafeteria?


The subordinator may take the "subject" or "object" position in a noun clause.

Note the usage of the following:

    Henry loves Mary. (S V O)


    Mary loves Jim. (S V O)


    The person who(m) Lee loves is a secret.


    The person who loves Tim is a secret.


    Who(m) Henry loves
    is a secret.


    Who loves Tim
    is a secret.

    Mary is the "object" of the sentence.

    Mary is the "subject" of the sentence.

    Relative clause (subordinator in obj. position)

    Relative clause (subordinator in subj. position)

    Noun clause (subordinator in obj. position)

    Noun clause (subordinator in subj. position)

Subordinators which are used in noun clauses:

(Some of these words are also used in Grammar: Relative Clauses and Grammar: Wh - Questions.)

    that

    what

    who

    whoever

    whatever

    whether

    which

    where

    when

    how

    why

    if

    how much

    how many

    how long

    how far

    how often

    whose

Remember to preserve word order in noun clauses:

I don’t know who he is.

Whoever she is is not important.

Whatever is in the box is a mystery.

Can you tell me what he is doing?

She doesn't undestand why he is leaving.

I wonder how much that costs.

Do you know how long it will take?

 

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