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Grammar and StructureGRAMMAR & 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.


The tour guide explained something.
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"


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, the object of a verb in the independent clause, or 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