Noun Clause

On this page, we will learn about what a noun clause is, the four common types of noun clauses: subject noun clauses, direct object noun clauses, object of the preposition noun clauses, and object of the preposition noun clauses.

Another type of complex sentence that you might employ in speaking or writing is a noun clause; therefore you should be aware of them for the IELTS.

Also keep in mind that you must demonstrate your ability to use complex sentences with at least some correctness in order to receive a band 6 or above for the grammatical range and accuracy criteria in the IELTS writing marking.

You might still make mistakes with them if you get a band 6, but mistakes are far less likely to happen if you get a band 7 or higher.

Of course, this does not obligate you to include them in your writing. There are many different varieties of complex sentences, but you'll probably employ at least one.

You must be able to mix complex structures with some flexibility when speaking as well.

What is a Noun Clause?

Before moving on to the rest of this lesson, you should review what a noun and a noun phrase are.

Additionally, be sure to understand what sentence clauses are and, if unsure of the distinction between dependent and independent clauses, go to this lesson on complex sentences.

This is a noun clause definition:
A collection of words that perform the same function as a noun and have a subject and verb that may function as a subject, an object, or the object of a preposition.

Here are four common types of noun clauses (NC):

  1. Subject NC
  2. Direct Object NC
  3. Object of Preposition NC
  4. Subject as Complement NC

Since it is a dependent clause, an independent clause must also be present, but we shall examine each type of clause separately when we analyze them all.
Let's see how this type of sentence begins before examining each of these in turn.

Starting the Clause

They begin with an adverb or relative pronoun. Commonly used to start such a phrase are the following words:

where why if that when whether
who whom which what how how (adj)
-"ever" words
wherever whomever whenever whatever
whichever whoever however however (adj)

Types of Clauses

We will now examine the various types. Look at these noun clause examples before we continue (the whole clause is in bold and the relative or adverb pronoun is in blue). The various types are displayed:

Subject NC

How governments are fighting green-house effects is being examined by the media.

Direct Object NC

The majority of individuals think that simply cutting calories won't be enough to eliminate obesity.

Object of Preposition NC

Whoever arrived first was the one he spoke with.

Subject as complement NC

It is crucial that parents give their kids the best education possible.

1. Subject Noun Clauses

For these explanations, the subjects will be in red, the verbs in black, and the objects in blue.
The NC (underlined) is the sentence's topic in the following example:

What affects so many complexities in the IELTS exam is the writing section.

The subject, verb, and object are all present in the sentence as a whole.

But keep in mind that an NC is a "clause", therefore it, too, needs a subject, a verb, and perhaps an object:

What causes so many complexities in the IELTS exam is the writing section.

The subject in the example above is the adverb pronoun "what".
It need not be like in the following illustration, where "you" is the subject:

Whether you go or not is up to you.

The verb "is" is singular; it is important to note this. An NC requires a singular verb because it is considered a solitary subject.
Here is more information about subject verb agreement.

2. Direct Object Noun Clauses

When the clause is the independent clause's direct object, it occurs after the verb:

This English book explains how United Kingdom(U.K.) became the first country to industrialize.

Once more, keep in mind that the NC has a subject, a verb, and perhaps an object:

This English book tells us how England became the first country to industrialize.
This history explains how England became the first country to industrialize.

The "that" clause, which comes after verbs like "think," "believe," and "feel" as shown in this Task 2 essay, is a typical NC you will recognize from the IELTS:

The majority of people believe that humans should not abuse animals and that they should have the same rights as people, but other people contend that humans must utilize animals to meet their many needs, such as those for food and study.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

And you may then give your opinion:

Personally, I don't think it's necessary to use animals for our own pleasure.

Keep in mind that you might omit the word "that" when speaking (this is then a reduced noun clause).

        I think uniforms shouldn't be required for students.
However, you should leave the word "that" in the sentence when writing in a formal style, such as for the IELTS.

        I think that uniforms shouldn't be required for pupils.

3. Object of the Preposition Noun Clauses

In this case, the NC comes after a preposition:

My uncle is very talkative. He converses to whoever will hear!

And here it is with the subject and verb of the NC highlighted:

My uncle is very talkative. He converses to whoever will hear!

4. Subject as Complement Noun Clauses

These types of sentences have the following structure:

It + be + adjective + (NOUN CLAUSE: that + S + V)

TIt is important that the government tackles loadshedding problems.
It's critical that kids have ample downtime.
Keep checking the page since some exercises using these kinds of clauses will soon be added.