Noun Complement

Discussion in 'English Only' started by starry_eyes, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. starry_eyes Member

    Good morning!
    I'm writing this post cause I need to understand what a NOUN Complement is and how I can recognize it! Next week I'll have an exam at the university and I have to understand this point!

    An example is:

    The claim that they found a cure is unfounded

    that they found a cure is a NOUN COMPLEMENT!

    Why? I can find Noun Complement only in That-Clause? Can you give me some others example to understand in a better way this point?

    Thank you!
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    It can also be an infinitive clause:

    Their claim to have found a cure is unfounded.

    Other examples are: my intention to return; a decision not to go home; the suggestion that we could visit Athens. What they have in common is a noun ('claim', 'intention', 'decision', 'suggestion') that is related to a verb ('claim', 'intend', 'decide', 'suggest') that takes the same kind of complement:

    They claimed that they had found a cure.
    They claimed to have found a cure.
    I intended to return.
    John decided not to go home.
    Someone suggested (that) we could visit Athens.

    With a noun complement, this clause is attached to the noun. It forms part of the noun phrase, which can be used in various positions:

    Subject: The claim that they found a cure is unfounded.
    Object of verb: Other scientists disputed the claim that they found a cure.
    Object of preposition: I was amazed by the claim that they found a cure.

    The noun doesn't have to have an associated verb. For example: the idea that I could steal the money. This is the same kind of noun as 'suggestion', and the complement has the same function in the noun phrase, but there's no simple verb of 'idea'.

    One more thing: this is a vague term. It certainly covers 'that'-clauses and infinitive clauses, but it could also cover some other kinds of complement, for example: the idea of stealing the money. This is again a very similar function in the noun phrase, but I don't know whether everyone would call this a noun complement. If it's important to your exam, you need to find out exactly what your teachers think it covers.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  3. starry_eyes Member

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011

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