In the sentence 'I am happy that you are here', 'that you are here' acts as a subordinate clause.

However, I am unsure what type of subordinate clause it is: i.e. I'm not sure if it's an adverbial, adjectival, or noun clause.

Anyone able to help?

  • You've approved a wrong answer. StoneyB's is the correct one
    – BillJ
    May 20, 2019 at 9:55

2 Answers 2


This is an adverbial clause as adverbial clauses are used among others for C³--- cause, condition and contrast.

I am happy that (because) you are here.

The adjective happy is modified by the subordinate adverbial clause. Adverbs mostly modify verbs, adjectives or another adverb in a sentence.

  • 2
    I wouldn't go along with that. "That you are here" is a declarative content clause functioning as complement of the adjective "happy". Things are different in the sentence "I am happy because you are here". In this case "because you are here" is aPP functioning as an adjunct of reason.
    – BillJ
    May 19, 2019 at 16:09
  • Nouns or adjectives after 'be' are normally complements. We call them subjective complements. Only transitive verbs sometimes require objective complements: I consider my dog smart. / I painted the house blue. Curious enough object Nouns are completed. May 19, 2019 at 18:46
  • 1
    The content clause "that you are here" is not a complement of the verb "be" (like subjective/objective complements are), but a complement of the adjective "happy". The AdjP"Happy that you are here" is a constituent with "happy" as head, and the clause "that you are here" as its complement. See also StoneyB's answer below.
    – BillJ
    May 20, 2019 at 6:50
  • That's my point. By default you subscribe to the view that an adjective is alone complemented by an adverb, here an adverb clause. May 20, 2019 at 17:33
  • 1
    No, it has the content clause as complement -- a very common construction. The AdjP "happy that you are here" is a constituent, with "happy" as head and "that you are here as complement. There is nothing adverbial about it. Have you read StoneyB's answer?
    – BillJ
    May 20, 2019 at 17:55

Congratulations! Your studies have advanced to the point where the notion of categorizing clauses as parts-of-speech breaks down.

That you are here not an adjunct or modifier or nominal: it is a clausal complement to the adjective happy expressing the event or state which gives rise to the state of happiness. This function is not expressed by any of the ordinary parts of speech, only by clauses. Depending on context, happy may license content (that ...) clauses, infinitival clauses, or participial clauses.

(In the last case, where the matrix and complement clauses share the same subject, the clause may be reduced to its head verb—for example, I am happy flying—but it's still a clause.)


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