Clauses are grammatical structures that consist of a subject and a predicate. Dependent or subordinate clauses are clauses that cannot function independently as complete sentences but that must appear with another independent or main clause. Noun clauses are a type of dependent clause that perform nominal functions.
In grammar, a subject complement is a word, phrase, or clause that follows a copular or linking verb and refers back to modify, describe, or complete the grammatical subject of the clause. In addition to nouns and pronouns, noun clauses also perform the grammatical function of subject complement. Noun clauses that function as subject complements are also referred to as predicate nominatives and predicate nouns. Examples of noun clauses as subject complements include the following:
- The problem is that you never think before you speak.
- The question is what human nature is.
- My command is whatever you wish.
- The winners are whomever you pick from the box of names.
- Ron and Harry were the favorites to win the contest.
- That ruckus is the children screaming in their playroom.
Noun Clause as Subject Complement
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.