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  1. #1
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    A sentence starting with "that"

    I was wondering if it is okay to start a sentence with “that”.
    For example,

    The letter must at least include the following.
    1. The reason why you would like to apply for this program.
    2. That you have obtained consent from your parents about your participating this program.
    For No. 2, I guess “The fact that you have…” is better, but I think I've seen similar sentences without "The fact".
    So please tell me whether it is okay to omit “the fact” and just start the sentence with “that”.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: A sentence starting with "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    I was wondering if it is okay to start a sentence with “that”.
    For example,

    The letter must at least include the following.
    1. The reason why you would like to apply for this program.
    2. That you have obtained consent from your parents about your participating this program.

    For No. 2, I guess “The fact that you have…” is better, but I think I've seen similar sentences without "The fact".
    So please tell me whether it is okay to omit “the fact” and just start the sentence with “that”.
    Thank you.
    You can't start that sentence with "that'". I wouldn't start it with "The fact that" either. "Evidence that" is better.

  3. #3
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Re: A sentence starting with "that"

    Thank you.

    How about this? Is the following (a) incorrect too? Please tell me yes or no with a reason.

    4.8.10 Both the informed consent discussion and the written informed consent form and any other written information to be provided to subjects should include explanations of the following:
    (a) That the trial involves research.
    (b) The purpose of the trial.
    (c) The trial treatment(s) and the probability for random assignment to
    each treatment.

    The above is from the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration)'s website.
    (Please see Page 23/63)
    http://www.fda.gov/downloads/regulat.../ucm129515.pdf

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: A sentence starting with "that"

    Maybe this usage is uniquely American, but we start with "That" frequently, and I will not agree that "The fact that" is an improvement.

    "That you asked me first instead of just doing it your own way as you used to shows me that you are trying to learn."
    "That you would presume to come here and ask this of me shows you just how arrogant you are."
    "That you were able to reach the summit at all is a great testament to your willpower. Never mind that the others in your group got there so far ahead of you."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: A sentence starting with "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Maybe this usage is uniquely American, but we start with "That" frequently, and I will not agree that "The fact that" is an improvement.
    That you can start a sentence with 'that' in BrE is something I have often said.

  6. #6
    BobSmith is offline Senior Member
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    Re: A sentence starting with "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    I was wondering if it is okay to start a sentence with “that”.
    For example,

    The letter must at least include the following.
    1. The reason why you would like to apply for this program.
    2. That you have obtained consent from your parents about your participating this program.
    [Not a teacher]

    If you can use 1. above, you can use 2. because they are both not sentences. That is to say, I don't think your question of using "that" at the start is the correct question (it might be "can I use a list of phrases instead of complete sentences here?"). That being said, you most certainly can start a sentence with "that". That I've given you some examples may or may not help you make a decision.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: A sentence starting with "that"


    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    I was wondering if it is okay to start a sentence with “that”.
    For example,

    The letter must at least include the following.
    1. The reason why you would like to apply for this program.
    2. That you have obtained consent from your parents about your participating this program.
    For No. 2, I guess “The fact that you have…” is better, but I think I've seen similar sentences without "The fact".
    So please tell me whether it is okay to omit “the fact” and just start the sentence with “that”.
    Thank you.
    The trouble with the list is a lack of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallelism_%28grammar%29: the first list element is a noun phrase; the second is a subordinate clause. A sentence can start with 'That', but that (the second LE) isn't a sentence anyway.

    b

  8. #8
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: A sentence starting with "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    That you can start a sentence with 'that' in BrE is something I have often said.
    That you can start a sentence with 'that' in BrE is something I agree with.
    Just not the "sentence" in the OP.

  9. #9
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Re: A sentence starting with "that"

    Thank you, everyone.

    So,
    - The example I posted is a phrase, not a sentence.
    - You can start a sentence or a phrase with "that".
    Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    That you can start a sentence with 'that' in BrE is something I agree with.
    Just not the "sentence" in the OP.
    What do you mean by "OP"?

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: A sentence starting with "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    Thank you, everyone.

    So,
    - The example I posted is a phrase, not a sentence.
    - You can start a sentence or a phrase with "that".
    Is that correct? Yes.


    What do you mean by "OP"?
    This stands for "Original Poster" - the person who started the thread - in this case, you.
    See above.

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