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  1. tkacka15's Avatar
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    #1

    that

    "However, a proposal that the shadow cabinet should agree that it was party policy to oppose airstrikes, and to assert this was in line with a conference motion passed in September, was thrown out." [From The Guardian.]

    Is "that" a relative pronoun or a conjunction in a proposal that the shadow cabinet should agree, i.e. is
    a proposal that the shadow cabinet should agree a noun phrase or not in the above context?

    Thank you.
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: that

    It's a subordinator/conjunction.

    If you can't replace it with 'which', then it's not a relative pronoun.

  3. tkacka15's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: that

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    It's a subordinator/conjunction.

    If you can't replace it with 'which', then it's not a relative pronoun.
    Thank you, Piscean, for the reply. My doubt about it is that "a proposal" may be an object of the verb "agree", in other words I wonder whether the verb "agree" is the transitive one here with its object "a proposal". I know that "agree" is mostly intransitive but there are transitive constructions with that verb too, e.g. They have agreed the pay offer.
    Last edited by tkacka15; 01-Dec-2015 at 00:20.
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: that

    Quote Originally Posted by tkacka15 View Post
    I wonder whether the verb "agree" is the transitive one here with its object "a proposal". I know that "agree" is mostly intransitive but there are transitive construction with that verb too, e.g. They have agreed the pay offer.


    You can see from the way I have added colours and brackets to the sentence below that

    a. A proposal was thrown out
    b. The proposal was that the shadow cabinet should agree ...
    c. What the cabinet should agree wasthat it was party policy to do two things ...
    d. The two things were ...
    .... to oppose airstrikes
    .... to assert (that) this was in line with a conference motion
    e. the conference motion was one that had been passed in September.


    However, a proposal [that the shadow cabinet should agree (that it was party policy #1 to oppose airstrikes, and #2 to assert this was in line with a conference motion {that had been passed in September})] was thrown out.

    We generally say that agree is intransitive if it is followed by a that clause.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: that

    American Heritage Dictionary disagrees. It lists two uses of "agree" followed by a "that clause" as transitive.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/agree

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: that

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    American Heritage Dictionary disagrees.
    The AHD is not alone. That's why I wrote We generally (emphasis added) say that agree is intransitive if it is followed by a that clause.

  7. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: that

    But, in my opinion, that gave the wrong message to the student. In the original sentence, I view both "that" clauses as noun clauses that function as direct objects.

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