A noun clause is a clause (a group of words with a subject and a verb) that serves as a noun in a sentence. In the English language, nouns are the words used to refer to people, places, or things. \nNoun clauses include a subject and a verb but function as nouns. (Adjective clauses and adverb clauses function as adjectives and adverbs, respectively.) Noun clauses are dependent clauses and cannot function alone as a complete sentence. To work properly in English grammar, noun clauses must be part of a larger sentence to form a complete thought. For example, in the sentence “She liked that he was always on time,” the noun clause “that he was always on time” cannot stand alone.\n\nYou can replace a noun clause with a noun or a pronoun. Consider this sentence: “Did you hear what the announcer said?” You can replace the noun phrase “what the announcer said” with “it” or “that”—as in, “Did you hear that?” Noun clauses often include one of the “wh-” words, such as “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why,” and the related words “whatever,” “whenever,” and “whomever.” Other question words such as “if,” “how,” and “that” are also common in noun clauses.\nNoun clauses are highly versatile. They can function as subjects, objects of prepositions, direct objects, indirect objects, and predicate nouns.\n\n1. __“I want to know what all the fuss is about.”__ “What all the fuss is about,” is the noun clause and functions in the sentence as the direct object of the verb “know.” The subject is the pronoun “I.”\n2. __“She will listen to whatever you recommend.”__ In this sentence, “whatever you recommend” is the noun clause and functions as a direct object.\n3. __“I hope we are going to wherever the source of the river is.”__ In this sentence, “wherever the source of the river is” is a noun clause that functions as the object of the preposition “to.”\n4. __“The parachutist’s only flaw was that she balked when given the signal to jump.”__ The noun clause “that she balked when given the signal to jump” functions in this sentence as a subject complement.\nA noun clause has a noun and a verb. In other words, a noun clause has a subject and a predicate, like a sentence, but because it is dependent, it doesn’t express a complete thought. A noun phrase is a group of words that includes a noun but no verb. \n\nA noun clause and a noun phrase have similar grammatical functions, but the composition is different. Consider the following sentence: “The moviegoers forgot what the hero did in the first half of the film.” In this sentence, “what the hero did in the first half of the film” is a noun clause, since it has a subject and a verb.\nBecome a better writer with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including James Patterson, Neil Gaiman, Walter Mosley, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Dan Brown, and more.\nLearn how noun clauses can function in a sentence by studying noun clause examples.