9+ Noun Clause Examples – PDF


There are a lot of ways that you can communicate and one of it is writing. When you write, you make use of sentences, these sentences would develop into paragraphs, and eventually, you will generate full-length writings that you can let others read in order to get your message delivered. But before you reach that stage where you develop longer writings, you will start working with a smaller group of words first which are called clause. You may also see clause examples.

Clauses have two types, namely, main or independent clause and subordinate or dependent clause. The subordinate or dependent clause also have types: adverbial, relative or adjectival, and noun clause. Each of these types would consist of at least one subject and one verb. For this article, we will be discussing one type of a subordinate clause and that is the noun clause. You may also see subordinate clause examples.

What Is a Noun Clause?

A noun clause is a type of dependent clause that acts as the noun with a purpose to name a person, place, thing, or idea. There are instances wherein we would like to name something but a lone word would not suffice, and that is when we need a noun clause, which is composed of a group of words, in order to name something. You may also be interested in an example of a dependent clause.

A noun clause usually begins with the following words: how, that, what, whatever, when, where, whether, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whomever, and why.

A noun clause can act as subjects, objects (direct objects and indirect objects), predicate nominatives, complements, or objects of a preposition.

Key Difference between Noun Clauses and Other Dependent Clauses

The other types of subordinate or dependent clauses are adjectives and adverbs. When these types of clauses are removed, we will still be left with a complete and understandable independent clause along with a subject and a verb. You may also want to know more about adjective clause examples.

However, this is not the case for most noun clause because a noun clause is essential for most sentences that once it will be removed, the sentence and the message you want to convey will no longer be understood. You may also like adverb clause examples.

Take a look at these examples:

  • Whether he drives or walks is up to him.
  • She wondered if I would like to go to the market.
  • He led us to where he had last seen the big boat.

Now, let us remove the noun clause and see what will become of it:

  • …is up to him.
  • She wondered…
  • He led us to…

For each example above, the noun clause acts as the subject, the direct object, and the object of a preposition that forms and complete the key part of the independent clause. Without the noun clause, the independent clause will not make sense at all and will not be able to express a complete thought.

How to Write Noun Clauses

One distinct indicator of a noun clause is that it would always begin with certain words and that is the following words that we also make use of when we formulate questions:

  • Who
  • What
  • Why
  • Where
  • When

Aside from that, we can also begin writing noun clauses with pronouns:

  • That
  • Which
  • Whoever
  • Whatever
  • Wherever
  • Whenever

However, it does not mean that once we can find such words in a sentence, it would automatically mean that there is also a noun clause in the sentence. Make sure that when you will try to identify the noun clause in a sentence, look how the group of words function in that sentence and from that you can judge whether it is indeed a noun clause or some other type of clause or not. You may also be interested in more clause examples.

Getting to Know Noun Clauses

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Noun Clause Exercise

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Noun Clause Self-Test

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Noun Clause Test Worksheet

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Noun Clauses and Adjective Clauses

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Noun Clauses and Their Functions

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Practicing Noun Clauses

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Using Noun Clause

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Functions of Noun Clauses

Know more about the noun clause by knowing its functions:

Noun clause as subject of a sentence or a verb

When you see a noun clause at the very beginning of a sentence, its function is the subject or the verb that comes right after it. Here are some examples, and take note of the underlined clause:

  • Whatever happens to my brother is your responsibility.
  • That I worked hard for the whole family pleased my parents.
  • How you choose what to do with your life is entirely your control.
  • Wherever we decide to buy the house and lot must have a good-natured neighborhood.
  • Where we choose and settle to eat must have organic meal options.

Noun clause as an object of a sentence or verb

A noun clause that acts as an object of a sentence or verb would come right after the verb or when it is the recipient of the action the subject initiates.

  • She likes what I do.
  • The little boy dislikes where his parents would like to live.
  • I prefer what we agreed on yesterday.
  • Nobody knows where the little girl went off to.
  • He promised to do whatever his wife says and commands.
  • We do not know when the contest will begin.

Noun clause as a complement of the subject

A noun clause will act as the complement of the subject when it is found right after an intensive verb, that we also refer to as a linking verb. Keep in mind that the complement refers to the subject or when it is the same as the subject.

  • You are what you make out of yourself.
  • Your disposition on your own life is what you allow to happen in your life.
  • The boy became what his friends never believed.
  • She is the genius they have always known her.
  • The girl’s whereabouts still remain a secret that keeps on baffling everyone.

Noun as a complement of the object

A noun clause will act as the complement of the object particularly when it would follow the direct object. You may also like subordinate clause examples.

  • He can present the report that he had thoroughly prepared.
  • The coach gave the instruction that we must never miss a session of training.
  • I bought a book that I will not be reading anyway.
  • They told the businessman what kind of deal they would love to receive.
  • You can pay him the reward that he deserves.

Noun clause as a prepositional complement or object of a preposition

  • The team deliberated on who should act as their leader for the meantime.
  • Teenage couples usually quarrel about what is shallow and unnecessary.
  • The workers agreed on the restaurant they will be eating at after work.
  • The desperate student studied for an exam he knows he will be failing at

We hope that you have gained more insights on writing a noun clause. Should you want to learn more about clauses, you may want to browse through our website.

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