What is the difference between an adjective clause and a noun clause in apposition to a noun or a pronoun? I am confused because the examples I found are quite similar.

Noun clause in apposition to a noun or pronoun:

Your statement that you didn't take the money can’t be believed.

Adjective clause:

Fruit that is grown organically is expensive.

I would also appreciate it if you could provide more examples of these clauses with their main clause and subordinate clause marked (main clause in bold please).

How can I differentiate between and identify them?

  • 1
    When a noun takes a clause as complement, that complement is not in apposition to the noun. And the content clause “that you didn’t take the money” is undoubtedly a complement of “statement”, so it can’t be an appositive modifier (note that appositives are modifiers not complements). Also, to qualify as an appositive, the clause must not only be an entailment of the whole NP, but it must also be grammatical, and I’d say that "That you didn't take the money can't be believed" is ungrammatical. In your 2nd example, the that- clause is clearly a relative one, so it cannot be appositive. – BillJ Mar 3 '16 at 18:28
  • @BillJ: I agree, especially about the word appositive. The only thing is that I do think that you didn't take the money can't be believed is OK, though probably inferior to the statement that... – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Mar 3 '16 at 18:33
  • @Cerberus A useful test is to replace "that" with "the fact that", which here would yield "The fact that you didn't take the money can't be believed", which seems contradictory to me. – BillJ Mar 3 '16 at 18:37
  • @BillJ: I kind of see where you're coming from, but why is that a good test? And how about that he didn't take the money has been proven? It fails the test, but would you consider it grammatical? Again, I agree that adding it or the statement/assertion/etc. is better than ∅. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Mar 3 '16 at 18:47
  • @Cerberus No, it would pass the test and prove that your example ("the fact that he didn't take the money ...") was grammatical, and it showed that the OP's was not. But most importantly, I see the OP's that- clause as a complement, not a modifier and thus not an appositive. – BillJ Mar 3 '16 at 19:05

1 Relative clause (adjective clause): Fruit that is grown organically is expensive.

2 That-clause (noun-clause) as attribute of a noun: Your statement that you didn't take the money can't be believed.

The structure of the that-clause in 1 and 2 is different. In 1 "that" has subject character; you could replace "that" by "it".

In 2 you have a subject (you) after "that".

You can add a relative clause to any noun. But that-clauses of type 2 are only possible after special nouns such as the fact, the idea, the statement, the suggestion and similar nouns. These nouns just give an information about the nature of the that-clause. What is said in the that-clause is a fact or a statement, a suggestion, an idea or something similar.

In 2 you can drop "the statement" and say "That you didn't take the money can't be believed". You can use "statement" after the that-clause: That you didn't take the money (your statement) can't be believed.

  • This answer is good, except one thing; In 1 "that" has subject character; you could replace "that" by "it": this (wrongly) suggests to me that the that in an adjectival/relative clause has to be the subject. But the fruit that they gave me is expensive has the same construction even though that is the object of gave in the relative clause. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Mar 3 '16 at 18:26
  • @Cerberus Right you are. I wanted to add that the relative pronoun can be subject or object - but, to be honest, I didn't want to go into details about relative clauses, the post is long enough as it is. And I think the problem aren't relative clauses, they are relatively easy. At least I think so. – rogermue Mar 3 '16 at 18:31

In sentence 1: fruit that is grown organicall is expensive.....this is no doubt a adjective clause.....the clause “that is grown organically” does not mean what is fruit....rather it means about fruit....so it is adj CLS


In second sentence ...“that u did not take the money”and “statement”..is the same thing....so it is noun in apposition and noun clause....

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