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    #1

    Noun clauses or Relative clauses?

    Hi folks,

    When I studied Noun clauses I discovered an interesting part of them, that is they can be an appositive. That means a noun clause can be positioned right after a word, it does not have to replace the word entirely. For instance:

    - The news that he is going to get married depresses her so much. (appositive of S)
    - She can't stand the fact that she will be alone again. (appositive of O)
    - It is great/the hot news that I will be promoted. (appositive of C)


    Now, this is quite similar to the situation of Relative clauses, so in some cases I cannot tell which is which. For example:

    - The reason why he left school is still not clear to me.
    - The question why he left school is still not answered.


    If I am not wrong, the first one should be a Relative clause and the second one should be Noun clause, but that is what my gut telling me. I cannot explain it to myself why. There are a lot more examples like this , but now this is the best I can give. Would you folks kindly enlighten me on this? Thank you!

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    #2

    Re: Noun clauses or Relative clauses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Creamcake

    - It is great/the hot news that I will be promoted. (appositive of C)

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    I am 99.99% confident that "that I will be promoted" is in apposition with the formal subject "it."

    Native speakers don't usually say "That I will be promoted [subject] is [linking verb] the hot news/ great [subjective complement]."

    They prefer to start the sentence with "it" (which is a substitute for the actual subject at the end of the sentence).

    I have made up these sentences:

    It is wonderful that such a nice person as Raul got the job.

    It is very unfair that Mr. Smith did not win the "Teacher of the Year" award.

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    #3

    Re: Noun clauses or Relative clauses?

    Ok, thank you for that, but unfortunately that was not what I asked for. I am searching for the distinction between some confusing sentences of Noun clause and Relative clause, which I listed in the second example.

    I would be very appreciated if you folks can help me out on this.

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    #4

    Re: Noun clauses or Relative clauses?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    In post #1, you said that in "It is great that I will be promoted," the noun clause is in apposition with the complement. I tried to show you that it is actually in apposition with the subject "it."

    *****

    Regarding your question regarding the labeling of clauses as either noun or adjective (relative), I have found some information that should interest you.

    1. "The reason why he failed is obvious."

    a. The scholar says that "why he failed" can stand by itself as subject of the main verb: "Why he failed is obvious."

    i. Therefore, it can be considered a noun clause, in apposition to "reason."

    b. The scholar says that if we say that "that he failed" is a noun clause in "The reason that he failed is obvious," then we have to be CONSISTENT and say that "why he failed" is also a noun clause in "The reason why he failed is obvious."


    2. Then the scholar says this: "But some teachers prefer to call them all adjective clauses."

    In other words, it often depends on the book that you are using.

    *****

    3. Here is something else from the same scholar that may interest you.

    a. The idea that came to me seemed brilliant.
    b. The idea that Mulroy is a thief is ridiculous.

    The scholar says that SOME grammarians say that both 3a and 3b have adjective clauses.

    The scholar then says that SOME grammarians disagree.

    Some grammarians say that 3a contains an adjective clause. As you can see, the relative pronoun "that" refers to "idea" and is the subject of "came to me." "That" canNOT be deleted.

    As you can also see, in 3b, the word "that" only introduces the clause. In fact, it COULD be deleted with no problem: "The idea Mulroy is a thief is ridiculous." Therefore, it is a noun clause in apposition with "idea."


    Full credit goes to Paul Roberts in his Understanding Grammar (1954), pages 313 - 314.
    Last edited by TheParser; 30-Oct-2015 at 21:36.

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    #5

    Re: Noun clauses or Relative clauses?

    I can kiss you, I mean literally, if I meet you. THANKS a billion!

    So that means this is truly a big issue as I expected. I have got to dig more on this.
    Last edited by Creamcake; 04-Nov-2015 at 03:36.

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