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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #1

    Need little help with the sentence.

    I came across something like that:

    I don't think that it is the most advantageous plan for me to be a full-time student. It is not because I am unmotivated, lazy, or afraid of work that I prefer not to take a full schedule of courses.


    I can't understand what is the grammatical function of 'that'.
    Is it somewhat similar to 'but', because it would make sense, wouldn't it?

    Does anybody know some reliable websites discussing grammar? I'd like to learn it form scratch, and I don't want to ask too many trivial questions ;)

    I'm really bad at structure, and it's imperative for the TOEFL.

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    #2

    Re: Need little help with the sentence.

    'But' would make sense to me to introduce the real reason behind not wanting a full-time course. You could continue the sentence 'but because I also want to gain work experience' or some other reason.

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    #3

    Re: Need little help with the sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    'But' would make sense to me to introduce the real reason behind not wanting a full-time course. You could continue the sentence 'but because I also want to gain work experience' or some other reason.
    Hi Tdol

    I understand that "but" is a good choice in this sentence and I agree to that, but could I use "yet" meaning "however" here?

    Thank you

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    #4

    Re: Need little help with the sentence.

    May I say the "that clause" in the sentence is a complementizer(complement clause) and the word "that" is a vague word which is only used as a subordinating conjunction?


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    #5

    Re: Need little help with the sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    May I say the "that clause" in the sentence is a complementizer(complement clause) and the word "that" is a vague word which is only used as a subordinating conjunction?
    It's not because....................that I prefer........ 'because' in this sentence implies 'that', right?

    Don't I need to change 'because' to 'that' if I want to use 'but I prefer' instead of 'that I prefer' ?

    It's not that I'm............but I prefer......... Isn't this more appropriate?



  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: Need little help with the sentence.

    In other words,

    With complementizer
    The reason that I prefer not to take a full schedule of courses
    is not because I am unmotivated, lazy, or afraid of work.

    Without complementizer
    The reason ... I prefer not to take a full schedule of courses
    is not because I am unmotivated, lazy, or afraid of work.

    The clause that I prefer ... is short for The reason that I prefer ... . If you keep the head noun, The reason, then you can omit that, but if you omit the head noun, The reason, the resulting clause is still remains dependent and so that is necessary. Which is why that is important in the second example here:

    The reason (that) I prefer not to ... is not because I am ... afraid of work.
    That I prefer not to ... is not because I am ... afraid of work.
    I prefer not to ... is not because I am ... afraid of work.

    Now, the example you have, shown here below, has the pronoun It for a subject, and that pronoun is anticipatory and has a referent, notably the elliptical noun phrase the reason:

    With complemtizer
    It is not because I am ... afraid of work (the reason) that I prefer not to ...

    Omit the complemetizer that and the reader/listener will interpret the resulting clause as an independent clause. Which is why this one is ungrammatical:

    Without complementizer
    It is not because I am ... afraid of work I prefer not to ...

    In short, the reason that can't be omitted in your example sentence is because it tells the reader/listener that the clause it heads is dependent.

    Does that help?

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    #7

    Re: Need little help with the sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    In other words,

    With complementizer
    The reason that I prefer not to take a full schedule of courses
    is not because I am unmotivated, lazy, or afraid of work.

    Without complementizer
    The reason ... I prefer not to take a full schedule of courses
    is not because I am unmotivated, lazy, or afraid of work.

    The clause that I prefer ... is short for The reason that I prefer ... . If you keep the head noun, The reason, then you can omit that, but if you omit the head noun, The reason, the resulting clause is still remains dependent and so that is necessary. Which is why that is important in the second example here:

    The reason (that) I prefer not to ... is not because I am ... afraid of work.
    That I prefer not to ... is not because I am ... afraid of work.
    I prefer not to ... is not because I am ... afraid of work.

    Now, the example you have, shown here below, has the pronoun It for a subject, and that pronoun is anticipatory and has a referent, notably the elliptical noun phrase the reason:

    With complemtizer
    It is not because I am ... afraid of work (the reason) that I prefer not to ...

    Omit the complemetizer that and the reader/listener will interpret the resulting clause as an independent clause. Which is why this one is ungrammatical:

    Without complementizer
    It is not because I am ... afraid of work I prefer not to ...

    In short, the reason that can't be omitted in your example sentence is because it tells the reader/listener that the clause it heads is dependent.

    Does that help?
    Thank you for helping out.


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    #8

    Re: Need little help with the sentence.

    It DOES help. Thanks!

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: Need little help with the sentence.

    You're most welcome.

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