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  1. #1
    CuriousT Guest

    "Not that I know of"

    Hi,

    In colloquial English, you say "Not that I know of" in reply to a yes-no question when you think the answer is in the negative but you are not too sure. I was wondering about the function of "that" in this expression. What is this? Is this the same 'that' (a subordinate conjunction) as in "I know that he is coming to the party"? Or is it the same as 'that' (a relative pronoun) in "This is the person that I talked to you about"? Or is it something else?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    CuriousT

  2. #2
    John C. Guest
    Interesting question.

    My feeling is that it's a relative pronoun.

    I think "that" refers to the subject of the question that's being answered and is the object of the preposition "of"

    i.e. "Of that, I know not"

    See what others have to say.


    Cheers

    John.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'm not sure about that- it doesn't really work with 'which', suggesting it isn't a relative.

  4. #4
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "Not that I know of"

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousT
    Hi,

    In colloquial English, you say "Not that I know of" in reply to a yes-no question when you think the answer is in the negative but you are not too sure. I was wondering about the function of "that" in this expression. What is this? Is this the same 'that' (a subordinate conjunction) as in "I know that he is coming to the party"? Or is it the same as 'that' (a relative pronoun) in "This is the person that I talked to you about"? Or is it something else?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    CuriousT
    One cannot always successfully analyze the grammar of colloquial speech or idioms. In this case, if I had to choose, I would call "that" a relative pronoun. The preposition "of" has no other logical object.

  5. #5
    CuriousT Guest

    Re: "Not that I know of"

    Thank you, John C., tdol, and MikeNewYork, for your replies.

    CuriousT

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: "Not that I know of"

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousT
    Thank you, John C., tdol, and MikeNewYork, for your replies.

    CuriousT
    You're welcome :)

  7. #7
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    Re: "Not that I know of"

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousT
    Thank you, John C., tdol, and MikeNewYork, for your replies.

    CuriousT
    You're very welcome.

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