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Noun Clause

  • A noun clause performs the function of a noun in a sentence which includes:
    1. Subject of the Sentence:
      • That tomorrow is a public holiday is certain
      • That John has broken the law is no more in doubt
      • Where I shall find Matthew is still not known
    2. Object of the Sentence:
      • Janie wanted to know where John is
      • Okoro said that the teacher is sick
      • I still don’t know where we shall find Moses
    3. Complement of a Verb:
      • The result is what we hoped for
      • The soup seems like what we can manage
      • Jackson feels that the teacher is right
    4. In apposition to the Subject:
      • The disaster, what we had always prayed against, is unfortunately imminent
      • His remarks, what no one had expected, came to us as a surprise
      • I relish the idea that students should work together
  • Subject: That she was nice is still a mystery to Donald
  • Predicate Nominative: The answer to life is what I’m trying to find
  • Direct Object: She understood why she had to write a research paper, but she didn’t like it
  • Indirect Object: The teacher will give whoever is talking a detention
  • Object of a Preposition: Many people have speculated about why Donald
  • Noun clauses are introduced by introductory words: that, whether, what, who, whom, which, whomever, why, how, when, where, whose, etc.
  • Some introductory words are understood. For example:
    • My mother said I could stay out late.
    • My mother said (that) I could stay out late


  1. I know that you will be successful.
    1. First, identify the subordinate and independent clauses
      • I know that you will be successful
    2. Then identify how that subordinate clause is acting
      • know is an action verb so this is a direct object
    3. Your noun clause is that you will be successful
  2. I dream about why I am a nerd
    1. Identify the subordinate/independent clauses
      • I dream about why I am a nerd
    2. Identify how the clause is acting
      • about is a preposition so this is an object of a preposition
    3. Your noun clause is why I am a nerd