Interested in Language
I was wondering if it is okay to start a sentence with “that”.
The letter must at least include the following.
For No. 2, I guess “The fact that you have…” is better, but I think I've seen similar sentences without "The fact".
- The reason why you would like to apply for this program.
- That you have obtained consent from your parents about your participating this program.
So please tell me whether it is okay to omit “the fact” and just start the sentence with “that”.
How about this? Is the following (a) incorrect too? Please tell me yes or no with a reason.
4.8.10 Both the informed consent discussion and the written informed consent form and any other written information to be provided to subjects should include explanations of the following:
(a) That the trial involves research.
(b) The purpose of the trial.
(c) The trial treatment(s) and the probability for random assignment to
The above is from the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration)'s website.
(Please see Page 23/63)
Maybe this usage is uniquely American, but we start with "That" frequently, and I will not agree that "The fact that" is an improvement.
"That you asked me first instead of just doing it your own way as you used to shows me that you are trying to learn."
"That you would presume to come here and ask this of me shows you just how arrogant you are."
"That you were able to reach the summit at all is a great testament to your willpower. Never mind that the others in your group got there so far ahead of you."
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.
If you can use 1. above, you can use 2. because they are both not sentences. That is to say, I don't think your question of using "that" at the start is the correct question (it might be "can I use a list of phrases instead of complete sentences here?"). That being said, you most certainly can start a sentence with "that". That I've given you some examples may or may not help you make a decision.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallelism_%28grammar%29: the first list element is a noun phrase; the second is a subordinate clause. A sentence can start with 'That', but that (the second LE) isn't a sentence anyway.