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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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    #1

    Lightbulb THAT

    I have a question about using 'that'.

    I've noticed in many sentences the word 'that' can be used or not and still sound correct. Is there any rule that stipulates when 'that' it is necessary?

    For instance, take the sentence above. It could be changed to: I've noticed THAT in many sentences the word 'that' can be used or not and still sound correct.


    Or this one: The Queen is due to arrive in America Friday amid fears Germany may invade her country.

    Is it better to say: The Queen is due to arrive in America Friday amid fears that Germany may invade her country.

  2. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: THAT

    Is English your NATIVE language?

    The word "that" can be omitted when it follows words like "say" as part of a subordinate clause.

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    #3

    Re: THAT

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipW View Post
    I've noticed THAT in many sentences the word 'that' can be used or not and still sound correct.




    Is it better to say: The Queen is due to arrive in America Friday amid fears that Germany may invade her country.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) Yes, I believe that there is a rule. It is something like this:

    The word "that" can be omitted IF it is NOT the subject.

    (a) (My horrible example) The police have proven (that) the painting that hangs in

    the museum is a fake.

    (i) You cannot delete "that" because it is the subject of "hangs." (Say the sentence without the "that" and you will immediately understand.)

    (b) I've noticed THAT in many sentences the word ....

    (i) The "that" is not required. Why? It is not the subject. It is nothing. It is just a

    smooth way to introduce the noun clause: in many sentences the word "that" can be used or not and still sound correct.

    (c) The Queen is due to arrive in America Friday amid fears THAT Germany may invade her country.

    (i) Here again, the "that" is not necessary. Why? Because "that" means nothing.

    It just introduces the appositive.

    Your sentence is: The Queen is due ... amid fears.

    Now you wish to explain what those fears are. So you add the words "Germany may invade her country." We say that "Germany may invade her country" is in apposition with
    "fears." It tells you exactly what those "fears" are.

    You could even write it this way:

    The Queen is due ... amid fears (Germany may invade her country).
    The Queen is due ... amid fears -- Germany may invade her country.

    The use of "that" would make the sentences smoother:

    amid fears that Germany may invade her country.
    amid fears (that Germany may invade her country).
    amid fears -- that Germany may invade her country.

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