"Not that I know of"

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CuriousT

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Hi,

In colloquial English, you say "Not that I know of" in reply to a yes-no question when you think the answer is in the negative but you are not too sure. I was wondering about the function of "that" in this expression. What is this? Is this the same 'that' (a subordinate conjunction) as in "I know that he is coming to the party"? Or is it the same as 'that' (a relative pronoun) in "This is the person that I talked to you about"? Or is it something else?

Thank you in advance for your help.

CuriousT
 
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John C.

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Interesting question.

My feeling is that it's a relative pronoun.

I think "that" refers to the subject of the question that's being answered and is the object of the preposition "of"

i.e. "Of that, I know not"

See what others have to say.


Cheers

John.
 

Tdol

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I'm not sure about that- it doesn't really work with 'which', suggesting it isn't a relative. ;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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CuriousT said:
Hi,

In colloquial English, you say "Not that I know of" in reply to a yes-no question when you think the answer is in the negative but you are not too sure. I was wondering about the function of "that" in this expression. What is this? Is this the same 'that' (a subordinate conjunction) as in "I know that he is coming to the party"? Or is it the same as 'that' (a relative pronoun) in "This is the person that I talked to you about"? Or is it something else?

Thank you in advance for your help.

CuriousT

One cannot always successfully analyze the grammar of colloquial speech or idioms. In this case, if I had to choose, I would call "that" a relative pronoun. The preposition "of" has no other logical object.
 
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CuriousT

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Thank you, John C., tdol, and MikeNewYork, for your replies.

CuriousT
 

Tdol

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CuriousT said:
Thank you, John C., tdol, and MikeNewYork, for your replies.

CuriousT

You're welcome :)
 

MikeNewYork

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CuriousT said:
Thank you, John C., tdol, and MikeNewYork, for your replies.

CuriousT

You're very welcome.
 
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