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Using Noun Clauses as Subjects

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Using Noun Clauses as Subjects

Clauses consist of a subject and a predicate. Dependent or subordinate clauses are clauses that cannot function independently as complete sentences but that must appear with another independent or main clause. Noun clauses are a type of dependent clause that perform nominal functions.

In grammar, a subject is a word, phrase, or clause that performs the action of or acts upon the verb. In addition to nouns and pronouns, noun clauses also perform the grammatical function of subject. Examples of noun clauses as subjects include the following:

  • That she worked hard for the whole term pleased her parents.
  • Whatever you want is fine with me.
  • What moved him was a sense of those worlds around us.
  • How we remember, what we remember, and why we remember form the most personal map of our individuality.
  • How the clouds drifted on that July afternoon still makes me smile.
  • Where the candy bar is hidden remains a mystery.

Noun Clause as Subject

Noun Clause as Subject

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References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, children, dogs, and cat. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing and master's degrees in library and information science and English studies with a concentration in linguistics.

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