Noun Clauses

What Are Noun Clauses? (with Examples)

A noun clause is a clause that plays the role of a noun. For example (noun clauses shaded): Compare the three examples above to these: The words in bold are all nouns. This shows that shaded clauses in the first three examples are functioning as nouns, making them noun clauses.

Like any noun, a noun clause can be a subject, an object, or a complement.

In a sentence, a noun clause will be a dependent clause. In other words, a noun clause does not stand alone as a complete thought.

Examples of Noun Clauses

Here are some examples of noun clauses:

A Quick Test


Lots of noun clauses in English start with that, how, or a "wh"-word (i.e., what, who, which, when, where, why). For example:


A noun clause is a clause that functions as a noun. However, for many, that definition is too generic. A multi-word noun will often contain another type of clause, usually an adjective clause, which provides the verb required for a clause. In the examples below, the multi-word nouns are shaded, and internal clauses are in bold. Here is another example: If you have a view on this, please tell us using this form.

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See Also

What is a clause? What are nouns? What are noun phrases? What is the subject of a sentence? What is an object? What is a complement? What is a direct object? What is the object of a preposition? What is an interrogative adverb? Glossary of grammatical terms