# Nominal Clause!?

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Hi all!
I am very much confused in nominal clause? I know they belong to subordinate clause but just cant figure them out.
New Member19
You are right: nominal clauses are subordinate clauses. They can function as:
subject of a sentence: (Whether we need it) is a different matter.
object: I don't know (whether we need it).
complement: The problem is (whether we need it).
appositive: The question, (whether we need it), has not yet been considered.
prepositional complement: The decision must depend on (whether we need it).

Nominal clauses fall into five major categories:

1. The that-clause, or dependent declarative clause.
This can function as subject, direct object, subject complement, appositive and adjectival complement.
"(That she is late) is not surprising." (subject)
"I told him ([that] she'd be late)." (direct object)
"I'm sure ([that] things will improve)." (adjectival complement)

2. The dependent interrogative clause:
This can function as subject, direct object, subject complement, appositive, adjectival complement and prepositional complement.
"(How the book will sell) depends on its author." (subject)
"I wasn't certain (whose house I was in)." (adjectival complement)
"I wondered (when he would come)."
"I don't care (if your car will break down)."

3. The nominal relative clause (be careful, these are NOT adjectival clauses despite their name):
This type of nominal clause, introduced by a wh-element, can act as subject, direct object, indirect object, subject complement, object complement, appositive, prepositional complement.
"(What he is looking for) is new friends." (subject)
"He gave (whomever came to the door) a winning smile." (indirect object)
"You can call him (whatever you like)." (object complement)

4. To-infinitive nominal clauses:
These can act as subject, direct object, subject complement, appositive, adjectival complement.
"He likes (everyone to be happy)." (direct object)
"His ambition, (to be a movie star), was never fulfilled." (appositive)

5. Nominal -ing clauses. Some authors call these "participial clauses", others "gerundial clauses". I personally use the latter, since "participle clauses" are adjectival clauses.
These can function as subject, direct object, subject complement, appositive, prepositional complement, adjectival complement.
"(Eating people) is wrong." (subject)
"I don't enjoy (reading novels)." (direct object)
"I'm tired of (working so hard)." (prepositional complement)

There is also a minor type of nominal clause, the "bare infinitive" clause (infinitive without 'to').

"All I did was [to] (turn on the lights)." (subject complement)
"(Turn off the lights) was all I did." (subject)

This is only an overview of nominal clauses. There are exceptions, special cases, etc., but I hope this will help you get started.

Miriam
Regular Member826
Thanks for the detailed Miriam answer but i am confused in Nominal That clause.My confusion is that why we use"That" in start of the sentence. What exactly "That" means in start of the sentence?
I usually come across the sentences in which that is used in the middle like "i know that" he told me that" and like " President told in the conference that he will not tolerate any criminal activities and that whoever responsible for the crimes will be dealt with severe punishment. "
In the world of nominal clauses, 'that' means the same thing at the beginning as it means in the middle of the sentence. In some cases, you can choose to arrange your clauses in order to produce an effect. "That I did not go surprised no one" means the same thing as "No one was surprised that I did not go." The first sentence seems more dramatic, at least to me.
Junior Member70
Sorry i meant thanks for detailed answer Miriam:)
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I am a postgraduate student in English language methodology. Iam writing a thesis about the" Aquisition of the Nominal Cllauses". What I need is to know more details about English Nominal Clause

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