Difference between noun and adjective clause

“Clauses are so vital to build an effective sentences and sharpen writing skills…”


Noun clause is a type of subordinate clause which does the work of a noun; whereas, adjective clause is used to as a adjective to modify noun and adjective in the sentence. Both are dependent, subordinating clauses, but play the different roles in the sentence. For better clarity, let’s understand the difference between noun and adjective clause.

Definition of clauses

Like simple sentence, clause is formed with subject and predicate, but cannot make complete meaning or sense as sentence does. According to the role played in the sentence, clauses are classified as dependent and independent clauses.

Types of clauses

Basically, clauses are classified in the following ways:-

•Independent or main clause

•Subordinating or dependent clause — further, dependent clause is divided on the basis of of role played in the sentence as :-

•Noun clause

•Adjective clause

•Adverb clause


•Noun clause is introduced by conjunctive words like- that, how, what, where, etc. On the other hand, adjective clause is introduced with relative pronouns and adverbs like — which, who, that, when, where, how, why, etc.

Noun clause is used as the noun in the sentence; whereas, adjective clause plays the role of adjective.

Comma isn’t essential before noun clause, but in the non-restrictive adjective clause, comma is used.

In the noun clause, antecedent isn’t required, but in the adjective clause, without antecedents, clause hardly make sense.

Adjective clause is also called relative clause, as it is introduced by relative pronouns and adverbs.


Both noun and adjective clauses are subordinating, dependent clauses. They cannot make complete sense without main clause.

Subordinating clauses are used to form complex and mixed sentences.

 Examples of noun clause

•I do not know how he solved the problem.

•She announces that she is not going to support our proposal.

•I thought that he might help us.

•Can you tell me when the delayed train will arrive ?

•I know that he is innocent.

•Wherever we decide to go is fine for everyone.

As a subject

•Why he is so late is yet to be known.

•What she planned was great surprise for us.

•Wherever we went to visit was memorable.

•Which goal is pursued is yet to be decided.

•Whoever aspires to join should declare immediately.

•That they are in trouble was completely unknown to me.

As a object

•I don’t know when we are going to leave.

•Everyone knows that this is big game for us.

•She is so weak in math. she will pay whomever you ask to teach $200 per month.

Object of infinitive

•Don’t wait. We have to purchase whatever is left.

•I want to learn how they assembles so quickly.

Object of preposition

•It is true that your success in this exam depends on how you prepare in the last month.

•Be aware about what you have learned so far.

Subject complement

•My advice is that you should keep patience in crisis.

•Antarctica is where everyone wants to go once in life.

•Magician is who shows miracle.

As a adjective complement

•I am impressed that that you started a NGO.

Adjective clause by relative pronouns

•The pen which you gifted me, is now lost. (broken clause with comma)

•The lake, which we saw last time, is totally dried. (broken clauses)

•This is the bike that we used for riding. (restrictive clause)

•I always remember the people who helped us in need. (restrictive clause)

•Equatorial forests, which are the storehouse of diverse species, are on the verge of degradation. (non-restrictive clause)

•I saw a sensitive person who was serving selflessly for poor people. (restrictive clause)

•He is the man whose pocket was lost. (restrictive )

•You know the farmer whom we helped. (restrictive)

•There are a lot of animals which suffer from water scarcity in summer. (restrictive)

•This is the bat that we purchased for tournament.(restrictive)

Adjective clause by relative adverbs

•This is the place where I learned to drive.(restrictive clause)

•I think it was Sunday, when we went for picnic.(non-restrictive clause)

•August 15th is the day when India got freedom.(restrictive clause)

•June, when monsoon arrives, is the best month to swim.(broken clause)

•Antarctica where temperature is too low is the best place for polar bear.(restrictive clause)

•Equatorial region, where rainfall is heavy, is the difficult place to live.(broken clause)

•The Sevagram Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi lived is a very inspirational place.(restrictive clause)

•I think there must be some problem why she refused to go.(restrictive clause)

•I don’t know the reason why he is upset ?(restrictive clause)

•Do you know how the recipe is prepared?(restrictive clause)

•Can you teach me the method how swimming is mastered ?(restrictive

I hope, this blog will enrich your knowledge about noun and adjective  clauses.

Understanding though although even though

Examples of as soon as and no sooner than

Difference between relative pronouns and adverbs

Correct use of “but” and “yet”

Conjunction not only but also

Conjunction of time and condition

Explanation of cumulative conjunction

Outline of subordinating conjunctions