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The Noun Clause Modifier in English Grammar

Noun clause modifiers are defined as words, phrases, and clauses that describe a noun clause. A noun clause is a dependent clause that consists of a subordinating conjunction followed by a clause and that performs a nominal function. The only grammatical form that can function as the noun clause modifier in the English language is the adjective clause, specifically which adjective clauses.

Adjective Clauses as Noun Clause Modifiers

The only grammatical form that can perform the grammatical function of noun clause modifier is the adjective clause. An adjective clause consist of a relative pronoun followed by a clause that consists of a subject and a predicate and that performs an adjectival function. Only which adjective clauses function as noun clause modifiers. For example, the following the following italicized adjective clauses function as noun clause modifiers:

  • That the museum cancelled the lecture, which is quite surprising, disappoints me.
  • For you to not graduate from college now, which would be such as shame, is out of the question.
  • That she worked hard for the whole term, which still amazes me, pleased her parents.
  • How the clouds drifted on that July afternoon, which still makes me smile, may never happen again.
  • Do you know when the train should arrive, which is something I should know?
  • The assessment committee announced the problem us refusing to try new procedures, which is an ongoing challenge.

The one and only grammatical form that can function as the noun clause modifier in the English language is the adjective clause.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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