I. What is a µnoun clause¶ ? It is a group of words containing a verb and functioning as a noun.

A sentence can contain one or more clauses. II. What is the function of a µnoun clause¶ ? Just like a noun, a noun clause is used to refer to a person, place or thing.
Observe : Where does Jane live?

I don¶t know Jane¶s address.

I don¶t know where Jane lives.
(noun clause)

Look at the example : Who did they see? Did they see John? Did they see Tom? I don¶t know who they saw. I don¶t know whether they saw John or not.

What are some noun clause markers? Wh- words (Who, Why, Where, What, When, Which, Whose, How) Wh-ever words (Wherever, Whatever, Whoever, However etc.) Whether That

I. Wh- Words Observe the word order :

- Jane¶s flat (n) is spacious. => Where Jane lives is spacious. - The reason (n) Jack is leaving is a secret. => Why Jack is leaving is a secret. - I don¶t know his destination (n) => I don¶t know where he¶s going. - We really like Mary¶s house (n) => We really like where Mary lives.

Observe the word order (2) :

- I don¶t know that man => I don¶t know who he is.

- Most of us believe in Janet¶s words. => Most of us believe in what Janet says.

- I really do not approve of the person she¶s dating. => I really do not approve of who(m) she¶s dating.

* Such noun clauses can be used in both the subject and the object position.

II. If / Whether In the absence of a question word, we should use if / whether to form the noun clause. Look at the examples :

III. Wh- ever Words Whoever Whereever (any place) Whatever/Whichever (any thing)

Whomever (any person)

Whenever (any time)

However (any manner, any way)

Whatever you do, I will always love you! I will have a good time with whoever you choose to invite.

You can do whatever you like unless you disturb others.

IV. That µThat¶ can introduce noun clause both in the subject and object position. It is possible to omit µthat¶ if the noun clause is the object of the verb.
Compare :

-We assumed (that) John would be late. -Janet hopes (that) her husband will come clean with her finally.
However, µ that¶ in the subject position cannot be omitted.

-That he has kept the truth a secret for such a long time is unbelievable! - That small children sometimes lie is widely known.
Examine :

The most hard-working student failed the test. That surprised everybody. => That the most hard-working student failed the test surprised everybody.

Infinitive Phrases :
Look how we can replace noun clauses with infinitive phrases :
Obser e :

I don¶t know where II should take her. where should take her.  I don¶t know where to take her. I don¶t know if/whether II should go or not. if/whether should go or not. I don¶t know whether to go or not. whether when should shop. A wise friend has told me when IIshould shop. A wise friend has told me when to shop. when to shop. My t r l i t how much I ought t spend on new clothing. I t to l t i .

how much to spend on new clothing.  My mother explained to me how much to spend on new clothing.

Oral Practice :
Example : Where does Patrick Live? I don¶t know. => I don¶t know where Patrick Lives. Now respond to the following questions starting with ³I don¶t know«´ or ³I¶m not sure«´
1 How old is Patricia? 2 Where did Luis go? 3 Why did Maria leave? 4 What time does the show start? 5 Why do the workers want to go on a strike? 6 Who is Kim¶s best friend? 7 How much money did he spend on that stereo?

I hope you have enjoyed this presentation. You can find more examples and exercises in your books. Thank you,


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