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Grammar and StructureGRAMMAR & STRUCTURE — Examples
Noun Clauses

 
 

Examples sentences using noun clauses:

Example

Explanation

The tour guide asked who wanted to go shopping.

The noun clause has:

  • a subject: who, and
  • a verb: wanted.

a) Her story is funny.


b) What she said is funny.

a) The first sentence shows a noun phrase as the subject of a verb.

b) The second sentence shows a noun clause as the subject of a verb.

a) I heard her story.


b) I heard what she said.

a) The first sentence shows a noun phrase as the object of a verb.

b) The second sentence shows a noun clause as the object of a verb.

a) I thought about her story.


b) I thought about what she said.

a) The first sentence shows a noun phrase as the object of a preposition.

b) The second sentence shows a noun clause as the object of a preposition.

 

 

a) Tom wants to know when the meeting starts.
NOT: Tom wants to know when does the meeting start.

b) Do you know where the meeting is?
NOT: Do you know where is the meeting?

When the noun clause begins with a question word, place the subject before the verb.

a) In the first sentence, the subject is "the meeting" and the verb is "starts".
Do not use question word order within the noun clause.

b) In the second sentence, the subject is "the meeting" and the verb is "is".
Do not use question word order within the noun clause.

Tom wants to know who is organizing the meeting.

The question word can be the subject of the verb in the noun clause.

In this sentence the subject is "who" and the verb is "is organizing".

Tom doesn't know where to go.
Tom doesn't know where he should go.

Tom doesn't know whether to stay or to go.
Tom doesn't know whether he should stay or go.

An infinitive can follow a question word in the noun clause.

(Each pair of sentences has the same meaning.)

I believe that UFOs exist.


I believe UFOs exist.


That UFOs exist
is not a proven fact.

The noun clause in these three sentences is "that UFOs exist".

The word "that" can be omitted when the noun clause is the object of the verb.

The word "that" cannot be omitted when the noun clause is the subject of the verb.

What they said is very important.

The noun clause takes a singular verb.