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  1. #1
    yamyam is offline Member
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    Default the omission of "that"?

    Hello.

    Would you take a look at the following?

    The movements of another person’s eyes are critical for us to understand what it is they are paying attention to. We are extraordinarily good at understanding people’s gaze direction and eye movements.

    I think "that" should be put before "they" in "what it is they are paying attention to".
    Is it quite common to leave "that" out in this type of sentence structure? :blink:

    Thank you very much in advance for your help on this.
    yam

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: the omission of "that"?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamyam View Post
    The movements of another personís eyes are critical for us to understand what it is they are paying attention to. We are extraordinarily good at understanding peopleís gaze direction and eye movements.

    I think "that" should be put before "they" in "what it is they are paying attention to".
    Is it quite common to leave "that" out in this type of sentence structure?
    Very common, and perfectly acceptable.

  3. #3
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: the omission of "that"?

    Your example sentence is not an expletive-it structure of the type "it is <adjective> that", wherein 'that' is required (e.g., It is understandable that he left), but speakers will indeed leave it out.

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