[Grammar] "as" or "that"?

on the way

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I came arcoss the sentence below and I was, and still am, puzzled about what should be used to fill in the blank.
"After three years of regular training, Dick would never be the same person ____ he was before."
I learned from some grammar book quite a while ago that "the same ...... as ......"and " the same ...... that ......" can be both acceptable, but with some slight difference in meaning, under the guidance of which, I think the latter should be applied here, but I was told by a friednd that the former works just fine here. I'm really confused. Any reply will be appreciated. Thank you all.
 
J

J&K Tutoring

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In this example, I don't like "...the same person as he was...". Perhaps others will disagree, but a reordering of the sentence may help explain:

1. "Dick would never be the same person as he was before" becomes: Dick would never be a person the same (in the same way) as he was before. There is not a different way to be a person.

2. If we leave off the word "person", then we could say, 'Dick would never be the same as he was before.' Dick will still be Dick, but I guess he will be healthier, faster, stronger, etc.

3. Best here is to use that: Dick would never be the same person that he was before. "That he was before" is an attributive clause and, since that is an object (he was what? he was that), we can omit the word that: Dick would never be the same person he was before.
 
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teechar

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For me, only "that" can work in the given sentence.
 
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