Grammar

Function of Noun Clause In a Sentence

You might know that a noun is the name of person, place, thing or an idea. Don’t you think this definition is entirely too simple? We can hang on this definition we know. But what about a noun clause and function of noun clause?

Function of Noun Clause

Remember noun is a part of speech and subject and objects are parts of sentence, and a noun can function as subject or objects. Therefore nouns = subjects or objects. Consider the example below:

  • The snacks gave me heartburn. (“Snacks” and “heartburn” are the nouns in the sentence. “Gave” is the verb and “snacks” is the subject)
    But what about this one?
  • What I had for breakfast gave me heartburn. (The verb is still “gave,” but the subject is a noun clause: “What I had for breakfast.”)

In the sentence above, ask “what gave me heartburn?” 
“Breakfast”? Not exactly. 
“I”? Clearly not. 
“What I had for breakfast”? Right. So we can define noun clause as follow:

A noun clause is a dependent clause that acts as a noun. Click on the links to know about clause and dependent and independent clause.
Noun clauses begin with words such as how, that, what, whatever, when, where, whether, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whomever, and why.
Noun clauses can act as subjects, direct objects, indirect objects, predicate nominatives, or objects of a preposition. Consider the examples below:

Examples: 

  • Whoever teaches me one word is my teacher.  (Hazrat Ali R. A”Noun clause as a subject”)
    (Whoever teaches me one word is a noun clause. It consist the subject whoever and the verb teaches. The clause acts as a subject in the sentence.)
  • The shopkeeper said, you can get whatever you like. (Noun clause as direct object)
    (Whatever you like is a noun clause. It consist the subject you and the verb like. The clause acts as direct object in the sentence)
  • The focus of our work is how we can satisfy customers most effectively.
    (How we can satisfy customers most effectively is a noun clause. It contains the subject we and the verb phrase can satisfy. The clause acts as a predicate nominative in the sentence, identifying focus.)
  • He was free to marry whomever he chose.
    (Whomever he chose is a noun clause. It contains the subject he and the verb chose. The clause acts as an object of the preposition for in the sentence.)
  • Whichever of you gets here first will get the prize.
    (Whichever of you gets here first is a noun clause. It contains the subject you and the verb gets. The clause acts as a subject in the sentence.)
  • Be sure to send whoever interviewed you a thank-you note.
    (Whoever interviewed you is a noun clause. It contains the subject whoever and the verb interviewed. The clause acts as an indirect object in the sentence.)
  • Do you know what his name is?
    (What his name is, is a noun clause. It contains the subject his name and the verb is. The clause acts as a direct object in the sentence.)

Conclusion:

This is an advanced grammar, but if you are going to be writing perfectly, taking IELTS or TOFEL tests you need to know these stuffs. I hope you liked this lesson and don’t forget to ask your questions regarding the function of noun clause in the comment box below.

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