Our Free Guide Gives You A Fun Way To Teach & Learn the Basics of Grammar

Chapter 10: The Noun Clause

A noun clause is a dependent clause that acts as a noun. That means that the whole clause is performing the job of one part of speech!

Since these act as nouns, they can perform any of the noun jobs. They can be subjects, direct objects, indirect objects, objects of prepositions, predicate nouns, and more.

Check out this sentence:

Broccoli is fine with me.

The word broccoli is a noun performing the job of the subject.

Now look at this sentence:

Whatever you want is fine with me.

Now, whatever you want is the subject! It is a whole clause performing the job of a noun.

Notice that unlike adverb and adjective clauses, noun clauses are not modifying anything. They are acting as nouns within the independent clause!

They may be introduced by any of the following words:

that, if, whether, who, whom, which, what, when,

where, how, why, whoever, whenever,

whatever, however, whichever, whomever


10.0 Diagramming Noun Clauses

Start by identifying the noun clause in the sentence. Then, decide what role it plays in the sentence. Is it the subject? Is it the direct object? 

Then, diagram the independent clause. I know this seems kind of strange because noun clauses often function as integral parts of the independent clause (subjects, direct objects,…). For this reason, we can call the independent clause the host clause.

 Diagram the noun clause above the noun slot in the diagram that corresponds with it's function (subject, direct object, predicate noun…). Then, attach it to the diagram with a pedestal. Looking at the example sentence diagrams below will make it easier!

Does your mom know where you are going?

Does your mom know = independent clause (host clause)

where you are going = noun clause functioning as direct object of does know

Whatever you want is fine with me.

is fine with me = independent clause (host clause)

Whatever you want = dependent noun clause functioning as the subject

Directions: As you diagram the following sentences, start by deciding what the noun clause is acting as. Place it on its own line just above wherever it goes in the independent clause.

Connect the sentence diagram to the independent clause with a little forked line.

1. Where the sock had gone was a mystery.

2. I wonder how I lost it.

3. My mom knew where I lost my sock because she found it in the dryer.

4. Now I am prepared, and I'll go with whoever is ready.

5. Wherever we are going will be wonderful.


Check Your Answers

10.0 Diagramming Clauses

Get these answers in the book!

Diagramming sentences is an effective and engaging way to learn or teach grammar.

You'll learn grammar and diagramming with these short, simple lessons and exercises, and you'll find all of the answers in the back so that you can easily check your work.

When you're done with this book, you'll possess a powerful tool for using and understanding language.

You'll be able to write with clarity, and you'll actually enjoy grammar.

Click here to learn more.

Go to Diagramming Sentences Chapter Eleven


The Beginner's Guide to Grammar
The Beginner's Guide to Grammar gives you a fun and visual way to get started with grammar and sentence diagramming. Yay! $29 FREE for you

Finished Chapter 10?
Move on to Chapter 11.

Back to Exercises Page

Back to English Grammar Home Page