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    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #1

    that is

    Hello.
    Can I start a sentence with that is?
    ...which is what they need to forecast prices in the future. That is, the approach in KS consists of reducing the dimension of the state space by considering only a subset of the moments that characterize the distribution of wealth.

    Thank you,
    L

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    #2

    Re: that is

    Yes; it can be a very effective way to introduce an explanation. Your fragment is fine.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: that is

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Yes; it can be a very effective way to introduce an explanation. Your fragment is fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise 1 View Post
    Hello.
    Can I start a sentence with that is?
    ...which is what they need to forecast prices in the future. That is, the approach in KS consists of reducing the dimension of the state space by considering only a subset of the moments that characterize the distribution of wealth.

    Thank you,
    L
    The grounds on which some people object to sentences starting 'That is...' relate the use of 'that' as a subordinating conjunction. Your fragment escapes this 'rule' by using 'That' as a demonstrative pronoun.

    This 'rule' (which I haven't heard prescribed for some years) would proscribe some 'sentences'* that start 'That is'.

    b
    *See next post
    Last edited by BobK; 14-Feb-2009 at 19:19. Reason: Added footnote

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: that is

    PS

    When I said I hadn't heard this prescription for years, I didn't mean 'That kind of sentence is OK'; it's not, because it's not a sentence - it's a subordinate clause that has been incorrectly punctuated. While I haven't heard the prescription, I have heard this description:

    Saying 'I was badly injured when I was hit in the face by a tomato - that was still in the tin' is fine. But if someone writes 'I was badly injured when I was hit in the face by a tomato. That was still in the tin' then the punctuation suggests that the subordinate clause is a sentence, which it isn't.

    This device is commonly used by some writers, some of whom may like to defend it here. But some of us loathe it with the intense heat of a thousand suns.

    b

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