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Thread: How to diagram

  1. #1
    armanborja is offline Newbie
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    Default How to diagram

    How to diagram "that" in a sentence. For example, "I am persuaded that he is able to do it."

    Thanks

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by armanborja View Post
    How to diagram "that" in a sentence. For example, "I am persuaded that he is able to do it."

    Thanks
    It is difficult to reproduce diagramming on a web site. In your sentence, "that" is a conjunction. It has no independent meaning and no place in the following clause.

  3. #3
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to diagram

    Reed-Kellog would say that "that" is a "function word" simply serving the function of introducing a noun clause. MikeNewYork is right. It does not need to be there. It is like "dass" in German. In a R-K diagram it would go on a "stand" made by a dotted line above the simple predicate "is". (I think) Actually this is quite interesting. I think that "he is able to do it" is an objective complement -- something often forgotten. It would be analogous to "angry" in "I am made angry" ( I am caused to be angry.) or "chairman" in "I am elected (to be) chairman. Compare to "The sun made the tomatoes ripe" Not sure about this. It should make for some discussion.

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    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to diagram

    "I think that he is able to do it" would be very easy. The fact that "I am persuaded" is in the passive voice complicates things. In any case, "that" is not a conjunction but rather a function word, like "if" in "I wonder if it will rain." Although in that case the "if" serves more of a purpose.

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    Sawsawxx is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How to diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by armanborja View Post
    How to diagram "that" in a sentence. For example, "I am persuaded that he is able to do it." Thanks
    "That" is a subordinating conjunction introducing the content clause "that he is able to do it", which functions as complement to the verb "persuaded". Subordinating conjunctions are meaningless words used mark a clause as subordinate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    In any case, "that" is not a conjunction but rather a function word, like "if" in "I wonder if it will rain." Although in that case the "if" serves more of a purpose.
    Both "that" and "if" are certainly conjunctions in those sentences, more specifically finite clause subordinating conjunctions.

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    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by Sawsawxx View Post
    "That" is a subordinating conjunction introducing the content clause "that he is able to do it", which functions as complement to the verb "persuaded". Subordinating conjunctions are meaningless words used mark a clause as subordinate. Both "that" and "if" are certainly conjunctions in those sentences, more specifically finite clause subordinating conjunctions.
    I completely agree that "that" in the first sentence and "if" in the following example are conjunctions. Calling them "function words" is OK, but "function word" is not a recognized part of speech.

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    Sawsawxx is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How to diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Calling them "function words" is OK, but "function word" is not a recognized part of speech.
    I agree.

  8. #8
    Frank Antonson1 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: How to diagram

    I am quite sure that according to Reed-Kellogg, the word "that" is never a conjunction. The word "if" certainly can be.
    "That" can be a relative pronoun, a demonstrative adjective, a demonstrative pronoun, or a "function" word, but not a conjunction. True, "funtion word" is not one of that practically sacred number of EIGHT parts of speech, but interjections are suspect in that they are not bound by syntax, and expletives are also a little different.
    But, if it comforts, one to think of this "that" in a group with "because, when, before, as," etc., then ok.
    It is simply not what Reed-Kellogg would say. And the original request was how to diagram it. This "that" has a very special job to to. It introduces noun clauses and does not need to be there.

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    Default Re: How to diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson1 View Post
    I am quite sure that according to Reed-Kellogg, the word "that" is never a conjunction. The word "if" certainly can be.
    "That" can be a relative pronoun, a demonstrative adjective, a demonstrative pronoun, or a "function" word, but not a conjunction. True, "funtion word" is not one of that practically sacred number of EIGHT parts of speech, but interjections are suspect in that they are not bound by syntax, and expletives are also a little different.
    But, if it comforts, one to think of this "that" in a group with "because, when, before, as," etc., then ok.
    It is simply not what Reed-Kellogg would say. And the original request was how to diagram it. This "that" has a very special job to to. It introduces noun clauses and does not need to be there.
    I have no idea what Reed-Kellogg would say, but dictionaries routinely list "that" as a conjunction. When it is used "to introduce noun clauses", calling it a conjunction is appropriate.

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    Frank Antonson1 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: How to diagram

    I suspected as much. In any case, we wait for the diagram.

    Actually, I should not leave it at that. Calling "that" a conjunction is a cop out. "That" is different. Sometimes linguists refer to the decay of the cases or gender, or something like that, referring to the way that languages have tended over time to become more simple. I believe that the same may be true for descriptive grammar. "That" is not like "other" conjunctions. Consider "dass" in German. But, if "that" so used must have a quick title, as a dictionary would tend to give, "conjunction" is not bad.
    But... the diagram?

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