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  1. #1
    hkgoddess is offline Newbie
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    Smile Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    Hi there,

    This is a similar threat I posted two days ago. Since I haven't found it from the New Posts and there has been no reply, I try post it again. That thread was my very first one posted on this website and I am not sure whether I did everything correctly.

    Can "that" in the following sentence be omitted? And the reason?

    I find (that) this garden is beautiful.

    I would appreciate any contribution to help resolve this issue.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by hkgoddess View Post
    Hi there,

    This is a similar threat I posted two days ago. Since I haven't found it from the New Posts and there has been no reply, I try post it again. That thread was my very first one posted on this website and I am not sure whether I did everything correctly.

    Can "that" in the following sentence be omitted? And the reason?

    I find (that) this garden is beautiful.

    I would appreciate any contribution to help resolve this issue.

    Thank you.
    It would be more common to leave out both 'that' and 'to be'. "I find this garden beautiful."
    With other verbs (think, believe), just leave out 'that'. I think this garden is beautiful."
    With some verbs (consider) - "I consider this garden to be beautiful."

    The relevant point is that you can leave out 'that' in all of them. This is a feature of English that you should look up in a grammar book or webpage, since the answer is not simple and the work's already been done often enough. You could start here: (or search for "omitting that".)
    BBC World Service | Learning English | Learn it

  3. #3
    hkgoddess is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    Thank you so much, Raymott for responding to my question and providing a very useful link. I am delighted to read the first reply to my first thread.

    This question was asked by a student. Like you, my first response was to leave out 'that' and 'is'. (Sb find sth/sb + adj.)
    And I think the next choice would be 'I find that this garden is beautiful.' Am I correct on this?
    His teacher considered "I find this garden is beautiful" wrong. And he put forth an argumet that the 'that' was just being left out since 'that' can often be omitted. "I find (that)......"

    I am not sure whether it is a grammar rule or just a habit of usage for "find". (Sb find sth/sb + adj.)

    I read the BBC link you had provided and noticed 'found (out)' is one of those reporting verbs that do not require 'that' in formomg a complex sentence. So, in that sense, I could safely say, 'I found out this garden was beautiful.' And if out can also be omitted (since it is in parentheses), this sentence will read as, 'I found this garden was beautiful.' Is this grammatical or a strange expression?

    I agree with you absolutely that the answer is not simple. And it seems find doesn't work well with that.

    I found out it's more complicated than I thought!

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by hkgoddess View Post
    Thank you so much, Raymott for responding to my question and providing a very useful link. I am delighted to read the first reply to my first thread.

    This question was asked by a student. Like you, my first response was to leave out 'that' and 'is'. (Sb find sth/sb + adj.)
    And I think the next choice would be 'I find that this garden is beautiful.' Am I correct on this? You could say that. But it's not as common. Eg. "I found him revolting!" Sure, you don't have to say it that way.

    His teacher considered "I find this garden is beautiful" wrong. And he put forth an argumet that the 'that' was just being left out since 'that' can often be omitted. "I find (that)......" Yes, but they are two different issues. Leaving out "that" has no bearing on putting in "is". He's right about "that". I'd call ""I find this garden is beautiful" wrongish. I find it unnatural. [sic]

    I am not sure whether it is a grammar rule or just a habit of usage for "find". (Sb find sth/sb + adj.) It's what we say. I think the teacher was right at least to being it to attention.

    I read the BBC link you had provided and noticed 'found (out)' is one of those reporting verbs that do not require 'that' in formomg a complex sentence. So, in that sense, I could safely say, 'I found out this garden was beautiful.' And if out can also be omitted (since it is in parentheses), this sentence will read as, 'I found this garden was beautiful.' Is this grammatical or a strange expression?
    No, you cannot leave out "out". "Find" means consider, think. "Find out" means discover. And you preferably shouldn't leave out "that" with "discover". "I discovered that this garden was beautiful" because "I discovered this garden ... " has the reader thinking you discovered the garden, but in fact it was something about the garden that you discovered.

    I agree with you absolutely that the answer is not simple. And it seems find doesn't work well with that.

    I found out it's more complicated than I thought!
    Yes, it's probably more complicated than I thought too. Most of the opinions above are guidelines, not strict rules.

  5. #5
    hkgoddess is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    Thanks again, Raymott, for the detailed reply. I agree find and find out are different in meaning. I am just puzzled why the parentheses were put around out.

    "Find out" means discover. And you shouldn't leave out "that" with "discover". "I discovered that this garden was beautiful."

    So in using 'found out', I should keep 'that' in the sentence instead of omitting it, i.e. "I found out that it's more complicated than I thought!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by hkgoddess View Post
    Thanks again, Raymott, for the detailed reply. I agree find and find out are different in meaning. I am just puzzled why the parentheses were put around out.

    "Find out" means discover. And you shouldn't leave out "that" with "discover". "I discovered that this garden was beautiful."

    So in using 'found out', I should keep 'that' in the sentence instead of omitting it, i.e. "I found out that it's more complicated than I thought!"
    Maybe I should stop giving this advice (or find a new way of explaining it) - no one understands it! No, I was referring to the verb 'discover' this time.
    I mean you should not leave out 'that' if it leads the reader to go off on a wrong track, and have to read the sentence again.

    I'll have a another go: If you write, "I discovered that the garden ..." you will prevent the reader from assuming that you discovered the garden, especially in a long sentence: "I discovered the garden, overgrown with weeds and obviously long neglected, actually belonged to my uncle."
    You haven't discovered the garden. You already knew about the garden. You've discovered something about the garden. If that sentence had used "that" the reader would not go off on a tangent believing that you've just discovered the garden.

    Here's another example: "I discovered a new way of explaining this grammatical point was not what I needed!" Using "that" is preferable here.

  7. #7
    hkgoddess is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    I see. I kind of suspected that you had jumped from 'found out' to 'discover' but wasn't sure. So just to verify my understanding since there was a potential clash of information. You have been explaining clearly enough. I think there is an intrinsic limitation of language (the known human languages).

    Language is, no doubt, a useful tool for communication. However, in my opinion, it is still a low level symbol. It can only capture a small fraction of our thoughts. Trying to depict a multidemional thinking with a linear instrument can be a frustrating experience. I am impressed by your patience!

  8. #8
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    What is your definition of multidemional​, please?

  9. #9
    hkgoddess is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    Mmm... I don't know how to define it. Let me try and describe what I feel about the multidemional-ness of thinking. "A thought" has so many facades and layers. It feels more like a ball, a bubble with fuzzy boundary. Thoughts have different sizes. And sometimes they feel like a big blob of haze and I can't tell whether it is just one thought or a cluster of it. The moment I want to capture it by verbalizing it (in whatever language), it is poked and then bursts out to all directions in strains. Some of them are clearer/brighter/more concrete than the others. I can then follow the most attractive one or a few adjacent ones that are within my grasp and jot them down. After that, the rest will often become too blur for discernment or only a few sporadic sparkles left. At times I can trace them back and toy with them. However, more often than not, my attention turns to some other totally unrelated thoughts that pop up.

    The above is one of the ways to depict it. I said that thoughts had layers. What I portrayed above is only the layer on the conscious level. What goes on on the subconscious would be beyond words. And then there are the layers of rationality and emotion. The former is the aspect of the thought that appeals to our logical sense and the latter to our feelings around it. They have significant effects on how we respond to a thought. Or I can also say how thoughts are colored by these two factors.

    I also notice that some thoughts came in a specific langauge and some other don't. I can think in Chinese, my mother tongue, and/or English, my first foreign language. When I switch languages with the thoughts that came in a specific langauge, it somehow mutates differently. Based on my own experience, I am certain that language has a moulding effect on my thinking. It does facilitate weaving abstract ideas together to take form. Paradoxically, it also limits them in this process.

    Thought is such a complex phenomenon that I could only catch a glimpse of it and marvel at its intricacies. Well, my limited vocabulary and diction will never do justice in revealing its totality...

    I am not sure the above answer is what you expect. Just hope it could provide some food for thought. ...^_^...

  10. #10
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can "that" be omitted in this sentence

    Do you mean multidimensional?

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