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Noun clause used as an object
He said something.
S V O
He said that he was sick.
Noun clause used as a subject
Something is your business.
Whatever you do is your business.
Someone is still in the cafeteria.
Whoever ate my lunch is still in the cafeteria.
What did he say?
What is your business?
Who is in the cafeteria?
The subordinator may take the "subject" or "object" position in a noun clause.
Note the usage of the following:
Henry loves Mary. (S V O)
Mary loves Jim. (S V O)
The person who(m) Lee loves is a secret.
The person who loves Tim is a secret.
Who(m) Henry loves is a secret.
Who loves Tim is a secret.
Mary is the "object" of the sentence.
Mary is the "subject" of the sentence.
Relative clause (subordinator in obj. position)
Relative clause (subordinator in subj. position)
Noun clause (subordinator in obj. position)
Noun clause (subordinator in subj. position)
Subordinators which are used in noun clauses:
(Some of these words are also used in Grammar: Relative Clauses and Grammar: Wh - Questions.)
Remember to preserve word order in noun clauses:
I don't know who he is.
Whoever she is is not important.
Whatever is in the box is a mystery.
Can you tell me what he is doing?
She doesn't undestand why he is leaving.
I wonder how much that costs.
Do you know how long it will take?
See also :
Grammar : Embedded Questions
Grammar : Reported Speech
Speaking : Indirect Requests
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