A Nobel laureate in economics wrote as follows.

Worse still, it is now clear that Bush never had a plan for when the war ended.

"when the war ended" looks to me a clause.

Can a clause follow a preposition "for"?

I used to think only nouns or noun phrases can follow prepositions, as in " a plan for the future" or "a plan for the party".

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"When the war ended" has an ellipsis. The full form would be

...a plan for [the time] when/at which...

The wh-word stands for a noun plus a relativizer.

Compare:

I was thinking about where we might go for our honeymoon (where=the place where/to which)

Do you approve of how he's doing his job as president? (how=the way in which)

I don't know anything about who[m] she's seeing these days (who[m]=the person whom)

The objects of the prepositions look like noun clauses, but they are nominal relative clauses, which are considered by many grammarians to be noun phrases, not noun clauses.

Marilyn Martin

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