easy grammar · ESL grammar · Relative pronoun · subject

I Know Who She Is – Noun Clauses

This lesson is great for practising your word order in English.

As you know, you can combine sentences in English, like this:

1)      I know who she is.

There are two parts in this sentence. They are called clauses. A clause is a kind of sentence: it has a subject and a verb. (The subject is the person or thing that does something. The verb is the action word.)

The first clause is “I know.” The subject is “I.” The verb is “know.”

The second clause is “she is.” It has a subject and a verb too. The subject is “she” and the verb is “is.”

The word “who” is a relative pronoun, and it is used to connect the two clauses.

Here’s another example:

2)       I’m learning how dolphins are trained.

The first clause is: “I’m learning.”

The second clause is “dolphins are trained.”

“how” is the connecting word.

dolphin_trainer

I’m going to give you some more examples, because I think you will learn more from them than from a technical explanation.

Which Words Can You Use to Connect Clauses?

Where: Please tell me where I can find the Marriott Hotel.

What: I can’t understand what the teacher told me.

Why: I don’t know why she won’t talk to me.

Whether: I wonder whether it will rain this afternoon.

How: He isn’t sure how to do his task.

Important Note about the Word Order

Now this is super important, as this is where almost all non-native speakers of English go wrong.

The important thing for you to remember is that when you connect these sentences you don’t change the word order. This also applies to questions in the second clause. As you know you need to change the order of the subject and the verb for normal questions. But when you connect clauses, don’t change the second clause even if it’s a question.

map-Mary Vertulfo 25.03.14

Here are some examples:

A Where is the Marriott Hotel?

This is a regular question, right? As you know, the correct order for a regular question is: question word (where), verb (is), subject (the Marriott Hotel).

B Can you tell me where the Marriott Hotel is?

This is a question with two clauses here, connected by “where.”

“Can you tell me” has the regular order for questions, with the verb first (can) and then the subject (you).

The second clause doesn’t have the question order. The order is: subject (the Marriott Hotel) – verb (is).

Many learners of English will say: Can you tell me where is the Marriott Hotel? This is incorrect.

Let’s look at some more similar examples:

1 Can you explain what she said?

And not: Can you explain what said she?

2 Do you understand how this program works?

And not: Do you understand how works this program?

3 Why is it so hard for you to decide what you want to eat?

4 I don’t know where your bike is.

And not: I don’t know where is your bike.

5 I can’t understand why he doesn’t phone me back.

And not: I can’t understand why doesn’t he phone me back.

6 Tell me where you saw my hat last.

And not: Tell me where saw you my hat last.

Exercise 1

Put the clauses on the left together with the clause on the right, using a connecting word of your choice. The first has been done for you.

Clause A Connecting word Clause B
I don’t know why he was angry.
Can you tell me the time is.
I should ask her she is going to wear to the party.
He wondered she put the keys.
She was waiting for him to tell her he was late.
I’d like to find out I get to the station.
Do you happen to know the quickest way to the station is?
Can I ask you that orange sign means?
I was unable to guess she was talking to.

Answers at the bottom of this page.

Exercise 2

Finish the following clauses so that they become sentences:

I’m not sure where…

He couldn’t understand what…

Can you explain what…

They’ll have to decide whether…

I don’t like it when…

We’ll have to find out why…

You can find some possible answers when you scroll down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:

Exercise 1

Clause A Connecting word Clause B
I don’t know why he was angry.
Can you tell me what the time is.
I should ask her what she is going to wear to the party.
He wondered where she put the keys.
She was waiting for him to tell her why he was late.
I’d like to find out how I get to the station.
Do you happen to know what the quickest way to the station is?
Can I ask you what that orange sign means?
I was unable to guess whom she was talking to.

Exercise 2

The following are just some examples. You should have written your own sentences.

I’m not sure where Mary has been hanging out all day.

He couldn’t understand what the lecturer has just explained us.

Can you explain what this symbol means?

They’ll have to decide whether to book a flight soon.

I don’t like it when it rains exactly when we want to play tennis.

We’ll have to find out why our deposit of 500 Euros doesn’t appear in our bank statement.

Want to read and practise more about word order?

Have a look here:

Where to Put Time Expressions in Your Sentences

Word Order of Adjectives

Have any questions about this post? Let me know in a comment or send me an email.

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