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ENGLISH-ENGLISH GRAMMAR 728 X 90

ENGLISH-ENGLISH GRAMMAR 728 X 90

Sunday, April 18, 2010

COMPLEX SENTENCES WITH NOUN CLAUSES


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A clause is a sentence that exists in a sentence. A sentence is a set of words which at least has a subject and a predicate, and which has a complete meaning. A noun is a word that names something. Thus, a noun clause is a clause which does the function of a noun or a noun phrase in a . A noun phrase is a group of words in which a noun is modified with another word. Besides, a noun phrase, like another phrase, is a set of words which has neither a subject, predicate, nor a complete meaning. Then, the , containing a noun clause, not only has a complete meaning, has more than one subject (S), one predicate (P), and one Object (O) if there is any, but also consists of more than one simple sentence. The simple sentence itself is a sentence which has one S, one P, and one Object (O) if necessary. The function of a noun clause depends on that of a noun or a noun phrase itself.

Compare the following sentences.
  • HIS REMARK was quite true.
  • WHAT HE SAID was quite true.
Sentence analysis (SA)
  • HIS REMARK (S) was quite true (P). (simple sentence)
  • [WHAT (introductory conjunction) HE (S) SAID (p)] (S) was quite true (P). (complex sentence)
The explanation of the sentence analysis
The words 'HIS REMARK' do not constitute a sentence because the two words have no S and P, but they only form a noun phrase, in which the possessive adjective 'HIS' modifies the noun 'REMARK', and they function as an S with the P 'was quite true'. The sentence 'HIS REMARK was quite true', which has one S and one P, is called a simple sentence. However, the words 'WHAT HE SAID', which function as an S with the P 'was quite true', constitute a sentence, in which 'HE' functions as an S of the P 'SAID', and 'WHAT HE SAID', which exists in the sentence 'WHAT HE SAID was quite true', is named a noun clause (NC) because the clause does the function of the noun phrase 'HIS REMARK'. The noun clause 'WHAT HE SAID' functions the same as the noun phrase 'HIS REMARK', that is to say, as the S of the P 'was quite true'. The sentence 'WHAT HE SAID was quite true', containing the noun clause 'WHAT HE SAID', is called a complex sentence. The word 'WHAT' in the complex sentence is an introductory conjunction (IC).

Below are the ICs used in noun clauses:
  • Wh-question words
  • How-question word
  • That
  • If / whether
Compare each pair of the following sentences:
  • I know YOUR NAME.
  • I know WHAT YOUR NAME IS.
The SA of the above two sentences is as follows:
  • I (S) know (P) YOUR NAME (O). (simple Sentence)
  • I (S) know (P) [WHAT (IC) YOUR NAME (S) IS (P)] (O). (The complex sentence containing the NC 'WHAT YOUR NAME IS', functioning as an O with the IC 'WHAT'in the NC)
  • He will give THE WINNER a prize.
  • He will give WHOEVER WINS a prize.
The SA of the above two sentences is as follows:
  • He (S) will give (P) THE WINNER (indirect object)(IO) a prize (direct object) (DO). (= He will give a prize to THE WINNER)(simple sentence)
  • He (S) will give (P) [WHOEVER (IC and / or S) WINS (P)] (IO) a prize (DO). [= He (S) will give (P) a prize to [WHOEVER (IC and / or S) WINS (P)] (IO / prepositional object (PO)] (The complex sentence containing the NC 'WHOEVER WINS', functioning as an IO with 'WHOEVER' as an IC and / or the S of 'WIN' in the NC) 
  • Predicting THE POSSIBLE HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE is necessary. 
  • Predicting WHATEVER MAY HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE is necessary. 
The SA of the above two sentences is as follows:
  • Predicting THE POSSIBLE HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE (S) is necessary (P). (simple Sentence) 
  • Predicting (gerund) [WHATEVER (IC and / or S) MAY HAPPEN (P) IN THE FUTURE (adjunct)] (S) is necessary (P). (The complex sentence containing the NC 'WHATEVER MAY HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE', functioning as the O of the gerund 'Predicting' preceding 'WHATEVER' as an IC and / or the S of the P 'MAY HAPPEN' with the adjunct 'IN THE FUTURE' in the NC)
The function of an NC
 
As an S
  • WHETHER THEY GET THE MONEY OR NOT doesn’t concern me.
  • THAT THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED IN THE COMPUTER BUSINESS is quite obvious.
As an O
  • We hope THAT YOU COULD SUCCEED IN YOUR BUSINESS.
  • The manager determines WHAT PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE TOWARD THE GOAL.
As an IO
  • We shall give these diskettes to WHOEVER NEED THEM LATER.
As an DO
  • He told us HOW THE PLAN SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT.
  • I asked him WHY HE WISHED TO WORK AT THE COMPANY.
  • She informed me WHEN THE MEETING WOULD BE HELD.
As the O of a to-infinitive
  • He wanted to know WHY THEY COULD NOT COPE WITH (SOLVE) THE PROBLEMS THEMSELVES.
  • I would like to know IF THERE IS A VACANCY FOR A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER.
  • She asked me to read WHAT SHE HAD WRITTEN.
As the O of a gerund
  • Predicting WHETHER OR NOT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SUCCEED IN YOUR SUCCESS is necessary.
  • We are interested in reading WHAT HE HAS  WRITTEN.
As the O of a participle
  • Not knowing HOW HE SHOULD HAVE SOLVED THE PROBLEM, he asked me for advice.
As the O of a preposition and / or as a PO
  • We are interested in WHAT HE HAS  WRITTEN.
  • They could understand only few of WHAT HE  EXPLAINED THEN.
  • Most of WHAT HE DID was considered satisfactory.
As a subjective complement
  • This is WHAT HE THINKS.
  • The question is WHICH METHOD WE HAVE TO USE.
  • The problem is HOW WE SHOULD CARRY OUT THE  PLANS.
As an apposition
  • The fact THAT THE COMPANY IS ALMOST BANKRUPT is not generally known.
  • We cannot conceal the fact THAT HE DISLIKES HIS EMPLOYER.
  • One problem, THAT HE IS COMPETENT, will be hard to deal with.
The NC as an O in a subjunctive
  • I suggest(ed) (THAT) HE SHOULD NOT GIVE THE REPORT. (British English) (Br. E)
  • I suggest(ed) (THAT) HE NOT GIVE THE REPORT. (American English) (Am. E)
  • I recommended(ed) (THAT) YOU SHOULD BE THERE IN PERSON. (Br. E)
  • I recommended(ed) (THAT) YOU BE THERE IN PERSON. (Am. E)
  • I propose(d) (THAT) SOMETHING SHOULD BE  DONE ABOUT THE PROBLEM. (Br. E)
  • I propose(d) (THAT) SOMETHING BE  DONE ABOUT THE PROBLEM. (Am. E)
  • I demand(ed) / want(ed) (THAT) THE MEETING SHOULD BE  BROUGHT FORWARD. (Br. E)
  • I demand(ed) / want(ed) (THAT) THE MEETING BE  BROUGHT FORWARD. (Am. E)
  • I insist(ed) / urge(d) (THAT) SHE SHOULD SPEAK TO THEM. (Br. E)
  • I insist(ed) / urge(d) (THAT) SHE SPEAK TO THEM. (Am. E)
The NC after it
  • It is important THAT EACH STUDENT SHOULD FILL OUT A REGISTRATION FORM. (Br. E)
  • It is important THAT EACH STUDENT FILL OUT A REGISTRATION FORM. (Am. E)
  • It is vital THAT WE SHOULD NOT PERMIT OUR COMPETITOR TO KNOW OUR PLANS. (Br. E)
  • It is vital THAT WE NOT PERMIT OUR COMPETITOR TO KNOW OUR PLANS. (Am. E)
  • It is desirable THAT JOHN SHOULD ATTEND THE  CONFERENCE. (Br. E)
  • It is desirable THAT JOHN ATTEND THE  CONFERENCE. (Am. E)
  • It is imperative / necessary / urgent / essential / advisable THAT I SHOULD BE  PUNCTUAL. (Br. E)
  • It is imperative / necessary / urgent / essential / advisable THAT I BE  PUNCTUAL. (Am. E)

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