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  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #21

    Re: the fact that ....

    I've never been able to remember the official rules with "due to" and "because" so I figured it was the same sort of thing.

    I'm in complete agreement with you that "We eat out despite that it is snowing" doesn't work regardless of whether you use "despite" or "in spite of."
    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.

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    #22

    Re: the fact that ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I've never been able to remember the official rules with "due to" and "because" so I figured it was the same sort of thing.

    I'm in complete agreement with you that "We eat out despite that it is snowing" doesn't work regardless of whether you use "despite" or "in spite of."
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good afternoon, Ms. Barbara.

    (1) It appears that nowadays ESL students are often taught that "because of" and "due to" are both prepositions -- especially since most native speakers use them that way.

    (2) Strict teachers (if there are any around anymore) say:

    (a) because of = preposition.

    (i) I was late because of traffic problems.

    (b) "due" is an adjective.

    (i) Therefore, one should say: My lateness was DUE (to traffic problems).

    (a) The prepositional phrase modifies the adjective "due," which in turn refers to "lateness."

    (b) Of course, native speakers are going to say:

    I was late because of/ due to traffic problems.

    Thank you.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #23

    Re: the fact that ....

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post

    (b) Of course, native speakers are going to say:

    I was late because of/ due to traffic problems.

    Thank you.
    Yup - that's the main problem! When everyone around you uses them interchangeably, it's hard to remember that there is supposed to be a difference! Thanks for your post, though!
    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.

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    #24

    Lightbulb Re: the fact that ....

    (iii) To make it more formal, you may introduce the noun clause with "that," which some books call an "expletive." It means absolutely nothing:

    We eat out despite the fact (that + it is snowing).

    Have a nice day!
    Thanks for your elaboration of this point, so that explains why "wh-conjunctions" can tail "despite" or "in spite of", because they are not expletive, whereas "that" is an expletive, dummy word.
    Does the reason seem right to you?

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    #25

    Re: the fact that ....

    CGEL, subordinators, 14.12., p.999.

    COMPLEX SUBORDINATORS

    ending with 'that':
    such that, save that, in the event that, in order that, but that, in that, in order that, insofar that

    ending with optional 'that':

    (a) participle form:
    assuming (that), considering (that), granting (that), granted (that), providing (that), provided (that), excepting (that), given (that), seeing (that), supposing (that)

    (b) others:
    except (that), for all (that), now (that), so (that)

    The omission of an optional 'that' in the complex subordinators tends to lower the level of formality. On the other hand, the inclusion of 'that' may avoid ambiguity.

    There is a continuing trend to use prepositions also as subordinators.
    On account (of) <esp AmE>, another recent example, has achieved somewhat greater acceptability in informal style:
    I can't come on account (of) I have to look after my baby brother.

    14. 14. Marginal subordinators
    As with complex prepositions, it is difficult to distinguish categorically between complex subordinators and free syntactic constructions. Several marginal types require discussion.

    Type1 consists of a habitual combination of subordinator with a preceding or following adverb; for example 'even if' and 'if only'. We regard these as subordinators because the meaning of the subordinator is affected by the presence of the adverb.
    Type2 consists of noun phrases that commonly function as temporal adverbials; for example, 'the moment (that'), and 'every time (that). WE consider these to be more like free syntactic constructions than like complex subordinators. The relationship between 'the moment' and the following clause, for example, can be explained as the head of the noun phrase modified by a restrictive relative clause, the noun phrase functioning as adverbial of time.

    I recognized him [that] moment.
    I recognized [the] moment [that I saw him].

    The phrase permits a range of structureal variations

    Just the first moment that I saw him...

    Type3 consists of prepositional phrases ending in 'the fact that'. They express relationships of reason and concession. Because they can be replaced more concisely by a simple conjunction, they are considered to be stylistically clumsy. Examples include:

    because of the fact that
    due to the fact that
    on account of the fact that
    in (the) light of the fact that
    in spite of the fact that
    regardless of the fact that

    The first four can be replaced by 'because', the last two by 'although'.

    These allow some variation of the preposition and considerable variation of the head of the noun phrase. Compare:

    In spite of the fact/the news/your report/my belief that they were sick...

    We should regard the fact/ the news/your report/my belief noun phrase complements followed by a clause in apposition.

    Type4 consists of participle forms such as 'supposing (that)' and provided (that). The participles form a gradient. Some retain certain properties charactersitic of verbs, while those that are most like simple conjunctions have lost all such properties. Thu,s like other participles, 'supposing' and 'assuming' can be expanded by adverbials:

    supposing for the sake of argument that
    assuming as a result of your advice that

    On the other hand, like many adverb, 'seeing' and 'considering' can be followed by conjunctions other than 'that':

    Seeing how he reacted
    Considering how he reacted

    But most important of all, the conjunction 'seeing', 'provided', 'providing', and 'given' are now distinct from the participles in meaning and in not requiring subject identification, so that they cannot be viewed as the verb in participle clause.

    --------------
    The grammar of 'in spite of', as I perceive:

    (a) in spite of = complex preposition

    in spite of + noun phrase:
    In spite of the weather, we will play.

    (b) in spite of followed by the obligatorily present 'the fact that' = marginal subordinator

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    #26

    Re: the fact that ....

    We eat out even though it is snowing.
    I would prefer this sentence.
    But the original question asked was whether we can omit 'the fact' from this sentence:
    We eat out despite the fact that it is snowing
    .
    We eat out despite something.
    We eat out despite the fact.
    The fact is that it is snowing.
    Therefore, it follows that :
    We eat out despite that it is snowing.

    So, except to Corum, this logic is wrong?

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    #27

    Re: the fact that ....

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post

    So, except to Corum, this logic is wrong?
    We have to learn that an astute, perceptive analysis is often not enough to take ourselves inside the world of grammar. Read my previous post in this thread.

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    #28

    Re: the fact that ....

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    Thanks for your elaboration of this point, so that explains why "wh-conjunctions" can tail "despite" or "in spite of", because they are not expletive, whereas "that" is an expletive, dummy word.
    Does the reason seem right to you?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, panicmonger.

    (1) I believe that in one of your posts in this thread, you stated that part of your confusion arises from the fact that you believe "that" is a WH- word.

    (a) According to my books, "that" has never been classified as a WH- word.

    (2) I believe that your main concern is about a sentence similar to:

    Despite WHAT you say, I am going to climb that tall mountain.

    (3) You ask: How can a WH-word follow a preposition.

    (a) Well, maybe (MAYBE) because "what" in that sentence is NOT really a wh- word (despite/ in spite of its appearance).

    (b) My high school-level books tell me "what" in that sentence is an indefinite relative pronoun.

    (i) In other words, "what" = that which

    (c) Therefore, the sentence is really:

    Despite that (which you say), I am going to climb that tall mountain.

    (i) "that" is a pronoun serving as the object of the preposition.

    (ii)which you say = adjective clause that modifies "that."

    (iii) MONA: If you climb that mountain, I shall divorce you.

    TOM: Despite that, I am going to climb it. ("that" = the words just uttered by his wife.)

    Have a nice day!

  9. euncu's Avatar
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    #29

    Re: the fact that ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Atom1995 View Post
    But for (the fact) that the resue team had came to me, I would have died already.
    ***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***

    What would be wrong with a simpler structure? ;

    If it hadn't been for the rescue team, I would have died already.
    or,
    If it hadn't been for the rescue team, I would have been dead already.
    Last edited by euncu; 16-Apr-2010 at 14:37.

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    #30

    Re: the fact that ....

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    ***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***

    What would be wrong with a simpler structure? ;

    If it hadn't been for the rescue team, I would have died already.
    or,
    If it hadn't been for the rescue team, I would have been dead already.
    Or even "We're going to eat out even though it is snowing". I admit I have almost completely forgotten what the original point of this thread was!

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