English Grammar Tutorials

  • Preface & Content
  • Letter, Word, Sentence
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  • Simple Conjugate
  • Chapter 11. Clause (Cont'd...)


    11.2 Subordinate clause

    Now if you look at the clause ‘he will go to Calcutta on Sunday next’, the clause is dependent on the first and it occupies the place of object to the verb ‘says’. In this way, dependent clauses or subordinate clauses depend on the principal clauses for their existence and relate to the principal clause. Sub-ordinate clauses are classified into three groups according to their function or relation to the principal clause or part of the Principal clause.

  • Sub-ordinate noun clause
  • Sub-ordinate adjective clause
  • Sub-ordinate adverb clause
  • 11.2.1 Noun clause

    The noun clause performs the function of a noun and it is introduced by conjunction ‘that’ (which is sometimes omitted) or by some interrogative words like how/ why/ what/ when/ where/ whether/ whence etc.

    A Noun can act as a subject of a verb, an object of a verb, an object to a preposition, a complement of a verb or in apposition to a noun or pronoun. There are five parts that a noun can play in the sentence. So if a sub-ordinate clause can play any of these parts, it can be called as a sub-ordinate noun clause. Now, we list few examples to understand it clearly.

    1. The following examples demonstrate, how a noun clause can be used as a subject to a verb. The words under italics represent a noun clause which is subject of the verb written just at the end of the clause. Please note that the noun clauses are the answer of the questions to the verb with who/what.
    (a) That he is intelligent is beyond my doubt.
    (b) Why he did so is a mystery.
    (c) What cannot be cured must be endured.
    (d) Where he has gone is not known to us.
    (e) When the debris of the plan will be found is uncertain.
    (f) When he will reach there depends on smooth plying of the bus.
    (g) Who has done this is still mystery.

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