What you need to know about noun clauses in English:
Noun clauses can be used in place of simple subjects, objects or subject complements.
Noun clauses consist of a subject, a verb and a subordinator (“extra word”)
What you say . . .
Noun clauses must be connected to another group of words to make a complete sentence.
What you are saying is important.
I hear what you are saying.
The subordinator can be something like “whatever, whoever, what, why, that, if” or similar words (see list below).
The subordinator comes at the beginning of the noun clause:
For example, Whatever you do . . .
Sometimes the subordinator can merged with the subject of the noun clause.
Whoever lives there . . .
For more information, see video and explanation below.
Noun clause used as an object
|He said something.
S V O
He said that he was sick.
What did he say?
Noun clause used as a subject
Something is your business. S VWhatever you do is your business.
Someone is still in the cafeteria. S V
Whoever ate my lunch is still in the cafeteria.
What is your business?
Who is in the cafeteria?
The subordinator may take the “subject” or “object” position in a noun clause.
Note the usage of the following:
|Henry loves Mary. (S V O)
Mary loves Jim. (S V O)
The person who(m) Lee loves is a secret.
The person who loves Tim is a secret.
Who(m) Henry loves is a secret.
Who loves Tim is a secret.
|Mary is the “object” of the sentence.
Mary is the “subject” of the sentence.
Relative clause (subordinator in obj. position)
Relative clause (subordinator in subj. position)
Noun clause (subordinator in obj. position)
Noun clause (subordinator in subj. position)
Subordinators which are used in noun clauses:
Remember to preserve word order in noun clauses:
- I don’t know who he is.
- Whoever she is is not important.
- Whatever is in the box is a mystery.
- Can you tell me what he is doing?
- She doesn’t understand why he is leaving.
- I wonder how much that costs.
- Do you know how long it will take?