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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE
Noun Clauses

 

 

A noun clause is a dependent clause that is used as the subject or the object of a verb. It is used in the same way a noun is used.

 

 
 

Sentence

The tour guide explained something.

Sentence

The tour guide answered the question: "Where is the bathroom?"

Sentence with noun clause

The tour guide explained

where the

bathroom

was.

 

 

 

subject +

verb

 

 

noun clause: object of "explained"
Use a period. Do not use a question mark.

 
 

 

A noun clause:

  • acts in the same way as a noun phrase. A noun phrase is a group of words acting as a subject or object. His song is good. / I like his song.

  • has a subject and verb within the clause.

  • acts as the subject of a verb in the independent clause.

  • acts as the object of a verb in the independent clause.

  • acts as the object of a preposition in the independent clause.

  • is introduced by a relative pronoun (who, whose, whom, which, that), a question word (what, where, when, why, how) or a conditional (if, whether).

  • can take an infinitive after an introductory question word.

  • takes a singular verb in the independent clause.

Related sections
Independent and Dependent Clauses
Infinitives