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Week 12 Noun clauses

Practical course Vocabulary and Grammar

NOUN CLAUSES (sometimes called nominal clauses) = groups of words within a sentence referring to a fact they can sometimes be replaced by a noun
= normally refer to abstractions (ideas, processes, events, facts) rather than to things or people
TYPES that-clause That he is not the best choice goes without saying.
wh-clause Im not really sure what hes talking about.
exclamation clauses I cant believe how quickly he learned that language.
to-infinitive I like to get up early.
-ing clauses (gerunds) Driving too fast is something most new drivers tend to do.
nominal relative clauses That is exactly what Ive been trying to tell you all day.
POSITION as subject of the sentence Where we go next depends on you.; To run as fast as that takes a lot of training.
- as object of the verb He phoned me to ask what we should do.; I love showing people my home town.
- after be The question is who will take over when he retires. My first job every morning is getting the breakfast ready.
- after some nouns His first excuse, that he had been caught in traffic, was untrue.; I dont like his claim that we have no freedom of choice.
- after some adjectives Id be very happy to be of any assistance.; Im very disappointed that I didnt get any promotion this year.
- after prepositions The traffic warden came over to where I was parked.
THAT-CLAUSE following nouns to talk about facts or beliefs The idea that we dont care is simply untrue.
nouns commonly followed by that-clauses danger; evidence; idea; impression; principle; risk; experience; view; sign; fact; disadvantage; news;
opinion; possibility; tradition
following adjectives common after certain adjectives and we commonly begin these structures with It Its sad that they couldnt stay longer.
adjectives commonly followed by that-clauses essential; interesting; likely; sad; inevitable; true;; probable; lucky; important; awful; possible;
extraordinary
following report verbs and nouns He explained that the company policy was about to change.; His explanation was that the company policy was about to change.
after some report structures subjunctive in that-clauses I suggested he remove all references to alcohol in the article.
as subject of the sentence in formal En. without a preceding noun That we dont care is simply untrue.
more common to use the structure with Itthat Its simply untrue that we dont care.; It didnt come as a surprise that he wasnt there.
omitting that often omit that when we use a that-clause as an object He promised (that) he would come.
with subject clauses beginning with It we normally only omit that after the common phrase Its a pity/shame
relative clause or noun clause? after nouns that is used to introduce both relative clauses and noun clauses
differences: a) in the following example, the noun clause extends the meaning of the noun promise and tells use what it is; that cannot be replaced
with which He made a promise that he would return all the money. (= noun clause)
b) in the following example, we dont know exactly what the promise was; in relative clauses we can usually replace that with which
He made a promised that (or which) he failed to keep. (= relative clause)
WH-CLAUSES uses related to questions I dont know who is coming to the party.; Why she disappeared remains a mystery.
commonly used in reported questions He asked where Id been that morning.
prepositions with wh-clauses after prepositions They consulted us on who they should invite.
when the preposition belongs to the verb in the wh-clause it usually comes at the end of the clause He asked me where I go the coat from.; but in
very formal En. it may come at the beginning He asked me from where I got the coat.
infinitives with wh-clauses to-infinitives are often used with wh-clauses, especially when referring to possible courses of action I never know how to work out
percentages.; I was wondering what to do.
these clauses can be often rewritten with should I was wondering what I should do.
whether and if used when a yes/no question is implied Do you know whether / if theres a good movie on tonight?
whether rather than if when talking about a choice/alternative Whether it is necessary to tell her everything about this is debatable. (= choice)
if = common when the noun clause is the object of the verb I dont know if there is anything we can do to help.

Week 12 Noun clauses

Practical course Vocabulary and Grammar

in other positions, we commonly use whether; if used in informal En.


as subject Whether the extra work makes any difference remains to be seen. / If we will do it again depends on the weather. (= informal)
after be My worry is whether hes taken all the risks on board. / The question is if we should risk it or not. (= informal)
after a preposition We have to discriminate between whether they really need the money or are just being greedy. (if not possible)
after nouns The decision, whether to wait another year before spending the money, will be taken at todays meeting. (if not possible)
before a to-infinitive I cant decide whether to go or not. (if not possible)
immediately before or not We have to decide whether or not we are going. (if not possible unless or not comes later in the phrase We have to decide if we
are going or not.)
exclamations what and how; similar in structure with wh-clauses Its amazing how fast children grow.
with singular nouns what followed by a/an I told him what a great time we had.
with how, and plural/uncountable nouns after what sometimes difficult to decide whether the clause = exclamation or an ordinary wh-clause
context = only clue Youd never believe what problems I had. (= exclamation Youd never believe what a lot of problems I had; or = wh-clause
Youd never believe what the problems were.)
TO-INFINITIVE AND ING CLAUSES position to-infinitive clauses and ing clauses can be used in similar positions
as subject or complement To achieve so much by the age of 25 is wonderful. / Achieving so much by the age of 25 is wonderful.
as object I love to listen to music in the evenings. / I love listening to music in the evenings.
after be My main ambition is to become a surgeon. / My biggest nightmare is completely forgetting to turn up for the exams.
after nouns His plans to travel during the Christmas holiday fell apart. / There could be a problem finding a suitable hotel.
after adjectives I was very sorry to have to tell her about the accident. / The children were all happy playing in the garden.
after prepositions not possible with to-infinitive clauses / I really object to driving on busy holiday weekends.
differences between to-infinitive and ing to-infinitive clauses used to refer to possibilities, ideas and aims To set up business in China was his long-term aim. (= his idea)
-ing clauses used to refer more to facts and things that have already happened Setting up his business was really hard work. (= fulfilled aim)
NB: these are possible differentiations between the two, however there are so many exceptions that such distinctions are often not helpful Im glad to have finished
that. (= fulfilled aim) / Every night I dream about winning the Lottery. (= an idea)
adding a subject to to-infinitive clauses when there is a subject in the clause, we normally add for For him to complain about being overworked is ridiculous.
for also used after some adjectives such as easy, keen, desperate Hes very keen for us to go and visit him in Canada.
adding a subject to ing clauses when there is a subject in the clause, the pronoun is either possessive (more formal) or objective I really object to his making so much
noise. / I really object to him making so much noise.
common phrases To err is human; to forgive, divine.; To be or not to be, that is the question.; To travel hopefully is better than to arrive.; It is better to have loved and lost
than never to have loved at all.; I cant get used to losing you.
REFERENCE: THIS, THAT, THESE, THOSE; SUCH; SO
this/these v. that/those: time and distance this/these used as both pronouns and determiners reference to things that are closer in time or distance; that/those for more
distant things In those days people only had radios whereas these days, everybody watches television.
this, that, these: referring back this, that to refer back to previously stated ideas; this more common in writing; this used when we want to say more about the subject
Television was invented by Baird. This is news to most people who assume that television just invented itself.
thats why more common than this is why I hate television. Thats why I havent got one.
this as a pronoun rather than these is used to summarise the general idea of a paragraph if the latter contains several points
In the 1950s and 60s, watching television had a sense of occasion. The whole family would gather round the black and white set, waiting for it to warm up.
There were no remote controls, and only one or two channels. This has all changed now.
these more often used as a determiner All these shortcomings have now become history.
such can be used before a noun to refer back to a fact, activity or concept; it is followed by a/an Computers may eventually replace television, though such a move seems a
long way off.

Week 12 Noun clauses

Practical course Vocabulary and Grammar

can be modified with few/all/many or a number People are predicting about the future of technology. Few such predictions become reality.
so and not as pronouns so to replace adjectives or NPs after a link verb in common combinations (become so, remain so) I was very happy but my wife was rather less
so.; He was an enormous influence on me as a student and remained so in later life.
do so to replace a verb and its object or complement Could you write up a report on the visit for me? Ive already done so.
so and not can replace a that-clause, especially after be and the following report verbs: appear, seem, believe, expect, hope, imagine, think, suppose, guess,
reckon I hope that you have a nice journey. I hope so too. / Have you got the flowers? Im afraid not.
we say I dont expect so, I dont think so rather than I expect not, I think not; we use I hope not and cant say I dont hope so
we can use some transitive verbs without so or an object in responses I know. I understand.
so can be used at the beginning of a phrase in these types of sentences Hes late again. So it appears. Or: So it would appear.; We were convinced we
would win and so it turned out.; Theyre here. So they are!
common phrases Thats that. Weve finished.; What have you been doing? Oh, this and that.; Thats it! I quit!; Did you get a pay rise? No such luck.; Sea levels are
rising, or so they say.; If you insist on doing it your way, so be it.
VOCABULARY
Nouns from phrasal verbs particle first or second? nouns derived from phrasal verbs sometimes have the particle or preposition as the first part of the word, sometimes the second. The
stress is on the first syllable whichever form the word takes. When the particle comes second, there is often a hyphen before it unless the compound is extremely common overspill;
underpass, intake, output, outbreak, upturn, breakdown, break-up, phone-in, pay-out, setback, cut-off
some phrasal verbs allow both types of nouns overspill, spill-over; breakout, outbreak; offcut, cut-off
transitive or intransitive? nouns can be derived from transitive and intransitive phrasal verbs intake, outgoings, output, lock-out, bystander, fry-up,
knockout, breakout, onlooker, input, takeover, takeaway, lift-off, income, walk-out, freeze-up, backwash, print-out
differences between noun and phrasal verb the noun derived from a phrasal verb can have more than one meaning He did a hilarious take-off of the
bosss wife. (= impersonation) / Flight LH496 is ready for take-off. (= act of a plane leaving the ground)
sometimes there is a difference in meaning/use Look out! Theres a bus coming. / The outlook is bleak.; He
checked out of his hotel at dawn. / There are 36 check-outs in our supermarkets.
often the verb is less common, and may have almost disappeared from current use feedback, backlash, outcome,
outcry, drawback, offspring
many common phrasal verbs dont have a corresponding noun we use another noun Money suddenly started
flowing in. There was a sudden influx of money.; Ring me up later. Give me a ring later.
other points the ing form of some phrasal verbs can be used to produce a noun setting-up, opening-up, closing down, sending out, dressing-down
the particle up, usually as the second part, is very popular in recent colloquialism hang-up, send-up, fry-up, shake-up, cover-up, wind-up
some phrasal verbs have forms used as adjectives a stand-up comedian; a put-up job; a get-out clause; give-away prices; throwaway lines
a few three-word NPs deriving from phrasal verbs a put-you-up, hand-me-downs, a pick-me-up
Lack, shortage and excess
verbs and verbal phrases to need, to require, to be in need of, (could) do with, (could) do without, to lack, to stuff yourself, to overdo it, to be crying out for, to
satisfy a need

adjective + noun collocations in desperate need of, a plentiful supply, in abject poverty, an acute shortage, untold wealth / luxury, dire need, untapped
resources, easy money, conspicuous consumption, severe deficiency
adverb + adjective collocations severely lacking in, desperately short of, barely adequate, fabulously wealthy, desperately poor, filthy rich
adverb + verb collocations badly need, urgently require, obviously lack, want something desperately, well-to-do
idiomatic phrases well-heeled, down-at-heel, down and out, on the bread-line, more than enough, to run short of, be strapped for cash, to stuff yourself
silly, fall below, well-off, an abundance of, mountains of, stacks of, heaps of, piles and piles of, to ones hearts content