Noun Clause Definition, Examples & Exercises

By | April 15, 2019

Clauses and phrases is a unique chapter to read to learn English Grammar which is read under chapter clauses in English grammar. Here we are providing you with clauses definition, clauses meaning, and all types of clauses and some clauses examples with clauses exercises. This includes main clause examples with clauses and phrases exercises and worksheet. So don’t think what is clause and phrase, simply dive into clauses grammar and have the fun of learning-


What is a Clause?

A clause is a group of words that includes a subject and a verb. It may be a sentence or the part of a sentence.

There are three kinds of clauses:

  1. Noun clause
  2. Adverbial/ Adverb clause                        
  3. Relative/ Adjective

1. Noun Clause:

Read the following sentences:

(a) I hope that I shall pass. (noun clause)

(b) She knows what I want. (noun clause)

The underline words are noun clauses and form parts of the sentences (a) and (b).

The noun clauses answer the question what?

Note- The that-clause following the main clause ‘I hope’ is also a noun clause just as What I want’ is a noun clause which follows the main clause ‘she knows’.

Identification- Noun clauses begin with the following connectives:

(i) Pronouns: what, which, who, whom, whose.

 (ii) Adverbs: when, where, why, how.

(iii) Conjunctions: if, that, whether.

 For example:


  • You can see what we have done.
  • I don’t know which book he has bought.
  • Can you tell me who had done it?
  • I can’t say whom I should believe.
  • Do you know whose car it is?

Type II

  • I can’t tell you when he will come.
  • I don’t know where he has gone.
  • Please tell me why he is always late.
  • Does anyone know how it has happened?

Type III

  • wonder if the weather is going to be all right.
  • I can tell you that he is a good boy.
  • She asked whether the train will leave on time.

Functions of Noun Clauses:

Noun clauses function like nouns or noun phrases. They can function as subject, object, complement, or object of a preposition, etc:

(a)        Subject:

  • What you said surprised me.
  • That he would come is seemed unlikely.
  • When she will come is uncertain.
  • How he crossed the border is a mystery.
  • Whether he will help you will be known soon.
  • Why he came here is still unknown to us.

(b)       Object:

  • He says that he will help me.
  • I don’t know who gave hint this advice.
  • She couldn’t decide what she should do.
  • Have you decided where you will go for your holidays?
  • You must learn when you should speak.
  • I asked him how I can reach that village.
  • She wondered whether she should stay any more.
  • I don’t know why he sold his house.

 (c)       Complement:

  • Our belief is that he will help us.
  • This is what you are looking for.
  • This is where she works.                                   
  • The problem is how we can cross this river
  • My worry is why he should behave like that.

(d)       The object of Preposition:

  • You should pay attention to what the teacher says.
  • There is no complaint except that he comes late.
  • There is no meaning in what he says.
  • No one is aware of how he has opened the lock.
  • Everything depends on whether he helps us or not.
  • It was difficult to decide where we should go for
  • They couldn’t agree about who should do the work.

(e)        The complement of an Adjective:

  • I am not sure where he has gone.
  • They are confident that they will find out the thief.
  • It is doubtful whether she will reach in time.

(f)        The object of an Infinitive:

  • She wants to know what is going on here.
  • He came to see that he was mistaken.
  • She wanted to ask if I could help her.

(g)        In Opposition to a Noun (Noun + Noun clause)

  • The rumour that he was killed is true.
  • The idea that we should set up a factory should be pursued.
  • The fact that he has failed surprised his parents.

(h)       The object of a Participle:

  • Thinking that he would die, they took him to a hospital.
  • Hoping that they would win, they felt overjoyed.

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