There are three kinds of connectives by which a Noun Clause can be introduced.
(1) The Conjunction THAT used in a merely introductory sense.
We did not know that he would leave us so soon.
(2) An Interrogative Adverb provided that no Antecedent is expressed.
Where he is going is not known to anyone. (Interrogative)
Let us inquire whether he will go today. (Interrogative)
The Conjunction IF can be used for WHETHER as an Interrogative Adverb.
Let us inquire if he will go today.
Let us inquire whether he will go today.
(3) An Interrogative or a Relative Pronoun provided that in the latter case no Antecedent is expressed.
I want to know who came here today. (Interrogative)
Who steals my purse steals trash. (Relative)
The Noun Clause, since it does the work of a Noun, can be…
(a) The Subject to a Verb
(b) The Object to a Verb
(c) The Object to a Preposition
(d) The Complement to a Verb
(e) In Apposition to a Noun
(a) Subject to a Verb
1. Why he resigned is a mystery.
2. Where he is going is not known to anyone.
3. That he will come back soon is certain.
4. Whether he did so is doubtful.
5. How long she stayed there is unknown.
(b) Object to a Verb
1. We asked her how old she was.
2. I always do whatever is right.
3. He promised that he would soon pay back the debt.
4. I shall be glad to know when he will pay it.
5. Tell me where she lives.
6. Tell me why she cried.
7. No one knows who she is.
8. Ask if dinner is ready.
(c) Object to a Preposition
1. Pay careful attention to what he says.
2. They were arguing about who should do it.
3. Except that he speaks too fast he is an excellent teacher.
(d) Complement to a Verb
1. My belief is that she is innocent.
2. This is exactly what I expected.
3. My question was whether there was any hope of his recovery.
4. This is what no one can understand.
5. Her one prayer was that her husband might live.
6. Life is what we make it.
(e) In Apposition to a Noun
1. The news that he intended to come gave us much pleasure.
2. The report that he had gone proved to be untrue.
3. It is evident that she does not intend paying the money.
In this last sentence the Noun Clause is in apposition to the introductory pronoun IT.
The Conjunction THAT is often left out.
1. He said (that) he was sorry.
The Four Kinds of Noun Clause :
There are four kinds of Noun Clause, corresponding to the four kinds of Simple
sentences (Statement, Question, Desire and Exclamation).
1. A Noun Clause formed out of a Statement is called a Dependent Statement.
Rama says that Ali is a good boy.
2. A Noun Clause formed out of a Question is called a Dependent Question.
I ask you how many girls there are in your class.
3. A Noun Clause formed out of a Desire is called a Dependent Desire.
I advise that promises be kept.
4. A Noun Clause formed out of an Exclamation is called a Dependent Exclamation.