Daily Grammar

Lesson 275

Parts of the Sentence - Noun Clauses

A noun clause is a dependent clauseA clause is a group of words having a subject and a verb. A dependent clause must be attached to the independent clause to make sense. It is always used as some part of speech. A dependent clause can be an adjective, adverb, or noun. It cannot stand alone as a sentence.  Source: Lesson 246 that can be used in the same way as a nounA noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. Examples: man, city, book, and courage.  Source: Lesson 16 or pronounA pronoun is a word that replaces a noun or a group of words used as a noun.
Source: Lesson 21
. It can be a subjectThe subject tells who or what about the verb.  Source: Lesson 91, predicate nominativeA predicate nominative or predicate noun completes a linking verb and renames the subject. It is a complement or completer because it completes the verb. Predicate nominatives complete only linking verbs. The verb in a sentence having a predicate nominative can always be replaced by the word equals.  Source: Lesson 102, direct objectA direct object receives the action performed by the subject. The verb used with a direct object is always an action verb. Another way of saying it is that the subject does the verb to the direct object.
Source: Lesson 109
, appositiveAn appositive is a word or group of words that identifies or renames the noun or pronoun that it follows. It is set off by commas unless closely tied to the word that it identifies or renames. ("Closely tied" means that it is needed to identify the word.) An appositive can follow any noun or pronoun.  Source: Lesson 128, indirect objectAn indirect object is really a prepositional phrase in which the preposition to or for is not stated but understood. It tells to whom or for whom something is done. The indirect object always comes between the verb and the direct object.  Source: Lesson 191, or object of the prepositionA preposition is a word that begins a prepositional phrase and shows the relationship between its object and another word in the sentence. A preposition must always have an object.  Source: Lesson 180.

Some of the words that introduce noun clauses are that, whether, who, why, whom, what, how, when, whoever, where, and whomever.  Notice that some of these words also introduce adjectiveThe adjective clause is a dependent clause that is used to modify a noun or a pronoun. It will begin with a relative pronoun (who, whose, whom, which, and that) or a subordinate conjunction (when and where). Those are the only words that can be used to introduce an adjective clause.
Source: Lesson 251
and adverb clausesThe adverb clause is a dependent clause that modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb. They usually modify the verb. Adverb clauses are introduced by subordinate conjunction including after, although, as, as if, before, because, if, since, so that, than, though, unless, until, when, where, and while.  Source: Lesson 263.


To check if the dependent clause is a noun clause, substitute the clause with the pronoun it or the proper form of the pronouns he or she.

I know who said thatnoun clause 
=  I know it.

Whoever said itnoun clause is wrong.   
He is wrong.

Sometimes a noun clause is used without the introductory word.

I know that he is herenoun clause.

I know he is herenoun clause.


Instructions: Find the noun clauses in the following sentences and tell how they are used (subject, predicate nominative, direct object, appositive, indirect object, or object of the preposition).

1. We will send the money to whoever asks for it.

We will send the money to whoever asks for itnoun clause.

 - whoever asks for it  =  object of the preposition

2. Do you know how dynamite is made?

Do you know how dynamite is madenoun clause?

 - how dynamite is made  =  direct object

3. My hope that we visit Mount Rushmore is now a family idea.

My hope that we visit Mount Rushmorenoun clause is now  
a family idea.

 - that we visit Mount Rushmore  =  appositive

4. His difficulty is that he cannot read.

His difficulty is that he cannot readnoun clause.

 - that he cannot read  =  predicate nominative

5. Whoever said that is totally incorrect.

Whoever said thatnoun clause is totally incorrect.

 - Whoever said that  =  subject

© 1996 Word Place, Inc.