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      • Hebrew
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      • Israel
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      • Israel

    • Join Date: Aug 2014
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    When to use "that"

    Hello, I have a question: When do I need to use that?

    1) I saw people who used the sentence : Do not do that. or I love that.
    I just know the use of that for describe something which is close to you or far. So what about spiritual things? like love? or doing, these are not objects(How to speak about which are not objects).

    2) What is the difference between I think that I need to sleep and I think I need to sleep?
    How to know if I need to use that automatically? what is the rule of thumb?
    Please do not give me an article to read for question number two because I did not understand from some articles.

    Thank you!

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    Re: When to use "that"

    Quote Originally Posted by captain1 View Post

    2) What is the difference between "I think that I need to sleep" and "I think I need to sleep"?

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

    Hello, Captain:

    In modern English, the "that" in your sentence is not necesssary:

    a. It means nothing.
    b. It only introduces the clause "I need to sleep."
    c. Since you are a learner, I strongly suggest that you use it, especially in speaking. It will make it easier for people to understand your sentence.


    As I understand it:

    d. Many, many years ago, the English people would say: I think that: I need more sleep.
    e. "I need more sleep" explained "that."
    f. Over the years, the English people dropped "that." "I need more sleep" became the object of "think."
    g. In formal English, however, the "that" is still usually used. And I do, most respectfully, suggest that you use it.


    P.S. "I think (that) that girl standing over there by the tree is very intelligent."

    a. The first "that" is not necessary. It only introduces "that girl standing over there by the tree is very intelligent." The parentheses indicate it is not necessary.
    b. The second "that" is necessary. It points to the girl standing over there by the tree.

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