A noun clause is a clause (containing a subject and a verb) that can replace a noun.
The examples below show how they are used:
I don’t know her. (not a noun clause)
I don’t know who she is. (noun clause)
I don’t know where she lives. (noun clause)
I don’t know when she moved to the United States.
Noun clauses often use words such as when, what, why, who and other question words, but the speaker may or may not be making a question.
You can also begin a sentence with a noun clause:
Why he did that is a mystery.
(It is a mystery)
What she’s doing is very interesting.
(That is very interesting.)
A good knowledge of noun clauses will help your English, but it’s important to practice their use.
Here are some examples of
sentences that use noun clauses:
1. Do you know how old they are?
2. This father is wondering what his son will do in the future.
3. I can’t remember what time the flight arrives.
Because noun clauses are often used with question words, many students make mistakes.
I don’t know who is that woman. (incorrect!)
I don’t know who that woman is. (correct)
He wants to find out where was she born. (incorrect!)
He wants to find out where she was born. (correct)
Remember to put the subject before the verb
in a noun clause.
In the next lesson, we’ll learn how to use "that"
at the beginning of a clause.
Next: Lesson Seven