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  1. #1
    NewHope is offline Senior Member
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    Default Can "that" be left out?

    The only thing remains unchanged is our pursuit of changing for the better

    Do you think if the sentence above works?

    If we express the sentence as:

    The only thing that remains unchanged is our pursuit of changing for the better

    It would be very clear.

    But I am not sure whether or not that the "that" could be left out.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    It's better not to leave it out there. You could say 'The only thing remaining unchanged...'

  3. #3
    NewHope is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks.
    " The only thing remains unchanged" as a sentence or a clause, can serve as a subject. So grammatically speaking, " The only thing remains unchanged is our pursuit of changing for the better " made no mistake?

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    We don't omit when it is subject:

    The thing that remains unchanged (subject) is our determination.
    The thing (that- object) they did was unforgettable.


  5. #5
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    No, I don't think you can omit 'that' in this context.


    When you have the following modifiers in the sentence, use 'that.'
    the only
    the same
    the very
    the first
    the last
    all
    only
    any
    no
    every

    1) The only thing that remains unchanged is our pursuit of changing for the better.
    2) All that glitters is not glod.
    3) Any paper that you read will give you the same story.




    The relative pronoun is allowed to be omitted within specific conditions. Relative pronouns 'whom/which' serving as the object of a verb can be replaced by 'that.'
    4) The man whom/that I saw last night was handsome.
    4a) *The man [I saw a man(Object) last night] was handsome.
    4b) *The man [I saw WHOM(Object) last night] was handsome.
    4c) The man [WHOM(Object) I saw last night] was handsome. (Whom- movement)
    4d) The man -- I saw last night was handsome.

    5) The dress which/that I am wearing is new.
    5a) *The dress [I am wearing a dress(Object)] is new.
    5b) *The dress [I am wearing WHICH(Object)] is new.
    5c) The dress [WHICH(Object) I am wearing] is new.
    5d) The dress -- I am wearing is new.




    NewHope, in your example,
    6) The only thing [that remains unchanged] is our pursuit of changing for the better.
    6a) *The only thing [the only thing(Subject) remains unchanged] is ---------.
    6b) The only thing [THAT(Subject) remains unchanged] is --------
    If you want to omit 'that', you need to change the adjective clause to a present participle phrase as in tdol's example.
    7) The only thing [that remains unchanged] is our pursuit of changing for the better.
    7a) The only thing [remaining unchanged] is our pursuit of changing for the better.
    Step
    1. Omit the subject pronoun 'that'
    2. Change the verb to its -ing form

  6. #6
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    Default

    Did I make it more complicated?

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    BTW, as usual, "*" means ungrammatical.

  8. #8
    NewHope is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Did I make it more complicated?
    No, that was pretty plain to me. :D

    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can "that" be left out?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHope
    The only thing remains unchanged is our pursuit of changing for the better

    Do you think if the sentence above works?

    If we express the sentence as:

    The only thing that remains unchanged is our pursuit of changing for the better

    It would be very clear.

    But I am not sure whether or not that the "that" could be left out.

    I don't think 'that' can be left out here...Try to reverse the wordorder:

    1. The only thing remains unchanged is our pursuit of changing for the better

    2. Our pursuit of changing for the better is the only thing remains unchanged...

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    It still needs 'that', Ibeke. Welcome.

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