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  1. suprunp's Avatar
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    #1

    Or perhaps itís that

    Make the decision.
    This step, surprisingly, is sometimes overlooked. Perhaps thatís because the intellectual wrestling required in the previous steps can seem exhaustive, leaving little energy for the final decision. Or perhaps itís that a quasi-academic mind-set comes into play, confusing analysis with action and failing to move from the theoretical to the practical.

    (How Good People Make Tough Choices; R. M. Kidder)

    Would you be so kind as to tell me what is the grammatical role of '
    that' here?

    Thanks.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Or perhaps itís that

    Here, that means because.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. suprunp's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Or perhaps itís that

    Thank you Charlie Bernstein!
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Here, that means because.
    I've figured it out, but to my dismay I couldn't find in any of my dictionaries 'because' as one of the meanings of 'that' -- would you be so kind as to point me to such a dictionary article if you happen to have come across one?

    Thanks.

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Or perhaps itís that

    No, sorry. But this might help:

    Pronouns always refer to a specific noun. But - sometimes the noun is not stated. In your paragraph, you have two pronouns that both refer to the same unstated noun:

    This step, surprisingly, is sometimes overlooked. Perhaps that’s [meaning: the reason is] because the intellectual wrestling required in the previous steps can seem exhaustive, leaving little energy for the final decision. Or perhaps it’s [the reason is] that a quasi-academic mind-set comes into play, confusing analysis with action and failing to move from the theoretical to the practical.

    So the red-highlighted "that" and "it" refer to the reason why the step is overlooked. Now the sentence is clearer, right?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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