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  1. newkeenlearner's Avatar
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    #1

    What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    Hi,
    Can I ask which of the sentences correct? It seems to me that both of them are correct.

    What surprised the scientists was the way the gas reacted.

    What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    Than you.

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    Only the first is correct. The word "that" makes the second incorrect.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    The phrase "the way the gas reacted" functions like a noun. You can move it around just like a regular noun: The way the gas reacted surprised the scientists.

    So look at what happens if you replace that noun phrase, the way the gas reacted, with a "normal" noun, the explosion:

    "What surprised the scientists was the explosion."
    You'd never say,
    "What surprised the scientists was that the explosion."

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    #4

    Re: What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    If you want to use "that", switch it's place:

    What surprised the scientists was the way that the gas reacted.

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    #5

    Re: What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    ... Its place.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Senior Member
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    #6

    Re: What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    ... Its place.
    I have read the rule but it is not natural for me to use "its". Very few people I know use "its". Besides, this is an language aspect that is evolving over time. The more people use it, the less likely it will survive.

  7. VIP Member
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    #7

    Re: What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    I have read the rule but it is not natural for me to use "its". Very few people I know use "its". Besides, this is an language aspect that is evolving over time. The more people use it, the less likely it will survive.
    The rule is extremely simple: use an apostrophe when it's is a contraction. If you can't replace it's with "it is" or "it has", it's its.

    This is a forum for teaching English. Learners should learn and apply this simple rule even if large numbers of native speakers can't manage it.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. VIP Member
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    #8

    Re: What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    [QUOTE=andrewg927;1318134]Very few people I know use "its".[QUOTE]

    Really? How many people do you know?!

  9. Senior Member
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    #9

    Re: What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    More than the number of fingers on your hands.

  10. Raymott's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: What surprised the scientists was that the way the gas reacted.

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    I have read the rule but it is not natural for me to use "its". Very few people I know use "its".
    Can you quote a book, or news article from a good source, or a novel, or a noted author that doesn't use 'its' where it's warranted?

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