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    #1

    Making sure

    I'm just making sure. In "All I know is he fell from the stairs", is "he fell from the stairs" a noun clause?

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    #2

    Re: Making sure

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


    Hello, Mawes:

    I am 95% confident that you are right.

    Let's add the optional "that":

    "All I know is (that) he fell down the stairs."



    This "that" is not a relative pronoun. It just introduces the noun clause: "The fact is (that) you are an excellent student."

    Now let's reverse the order:

    "That he fell down the stairs is all I know." (This time, you MUST use the "that.")

    Another test that teachers often give for noun clauses is this: If you substitute the word "something" for the noun clause, will the sentence still be grammatically correct?

    Mona: All I know is something.

    James: Really? What is that "something"?

    Mona: That he fell down the stairs.

    *****

    Thus, I believe that "All I know" is the complete subject. / "is" is a linking verb./ "(that) he fell down the stairs" is a subjective complement because it "completes" the meaning of the subject. Of course, you could NOT say to someone: "All I know is."

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    #3

    Re: Making sure

    What part of speech is "that" in?

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    #4

    Re: Making sure

    Conjunction, but it is not needed.

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    #5

    Re: Making sure

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

    Most books seem to classify "that" in your sentence as a subordinating conjunction.

    A few books do not think that it deserves the dignity of being labeled a conjunction, for it does nothing but introduce the noun clause. So those few books use the word expletive. But even those books admit that nowadays it is simply called a subordinating conjunction.


    *****

    You may like this extra information.

    Many, MANY years ago in England , the "that" WAS necessary.

    According to scholars, your sentence might have been analyzed like this:

    "All I know is THAT: He fell down the stairs."

    "That" was a demonstrative pronoun (when you point with your finger). "He fell down the stairs" explained "that" (the idea that you were pointing to).

    Over the years, the English people started to think that the word "that" ONLY introduced the idea "He fell down the stairs," so they started to drop the word "that."

    Source: House and Harman, Descriptive English Grammar (copyright 1931 and 1950).

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    #6

    Re: Making sure

    mawes, a better title would have been He fell from the stairs.

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

    You will have noticed that we say 'He fell down the stairs'.

    If you trip and fall when you're going up the stairs you can say 'I fell on the stairs'.

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    #7

    Re: Making sure

    If I fell when going up the stairs, I would say "I fell up the stairs". If I were to use "on the stairs", I would say "I fell over on the stairs" or "I tripped over on the stairs".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #8

    Re: Making sure

    I have never heard "fell up" the stairs before.

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    #9

    Re: Making sure

    We're having a busy day with the BrE vs AmE differences!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: Making sure

    Seems so. But that is how I learn.

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