at some examples
Noun clauses are subordinate
clauses that are used like nouns--as subjects, objects, and complements.
Before looking at the grammar of noun clauses, please analyze the following
examples carefully. What noun function does each clause in bold
Noun Clauses in a Sociology
scientists study how people govern themselves.
Spencer believed that society operates according to fixed laws.
3. But do
you know why more Americans are born on Tuesday than any other
day of the week?
scientists are especially interested in how people attain ruling
positions in their society, how they maintain those positions,
and the consequences of their activites for those who are governed.
these sociologists had observed was a fundamental shift in
6. My next
discovery was that there were a dozen or so vicious, underfed
dogs snapping at my legs, circling me as if I were to be their
of Noun Clauses
English has two types
of clauses that function like nouns. One type is commonly found
after verbs used to report knowledge: know, think, believe, feel,
and others. Generally, the noun clause is the direct object of such
a verb and is attached to the verb using that.
in a Sociology Textbook Chapter
also holds that the sole of a shoe is unclean.
tell us that only ninety-two elements occur
on the earth, but sociologists know that the world is home
to countless variations of human culture.
fossil records, scientists conclude that, about 2 million years
ago, our distant ancestors grasped cultural fundamentals such
as the use of fire, tools, and weapons, created simple shelters,
and fashioned basic clothing.
4. In global
perspective, we need to remember that behavior that seems normal
to us may offend people elsewhere.
English can have that
clauses in the subject position as in the following example:
he loves sociology seems an accurate statement of his interests.
However, such uses are
rare--and I had to create this example because I couldn't find one in my
source. Generally, that clauses are used in the direct object.
One of the uses of wh-clauses
is as nouns--as subjects, objects, and complements.
a Sociology Textbook Chapter
examines how social contexts influence people's lives.
2. To find
out why people do what they do, sociologists look at social
3. When the
newspapers reported this case, sociologist Kingsley Davis decided
to find out what happened to Isabelle after her discovery.
use the case of Isabelle to give us some insight into what
human nature is.
5. For other
parts, the individual is a blank slate, and it is entirely up
to the environment to determine what is written on that slate.
sociologists appreciate about Freud is his emphasis on socialization.
As with that
clauses, wh-clauses are rarely used as the subject of a sentence
and are much more commonly found as objects and complements.
Try analyzing the internal
structure of the example sentences in the three sets of examples given
in this section of the lecture. Please let me know your questions
and/or comments. Thanks.