That - conjunction or relative adverb??

terry0236

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Hi,

I am very confused whether "that" is conjunction or relative adverb.

1) I believe the fact that Jane likes John. [conjunction]
2) I don't know the way that he solved the problem. [relative adverb]
3) You have the problem that water could stick to your lens.

is "that" conjunction or relative adverb?
Is there any good way to know the difference easily?

Pls help out.
 
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Matthew Wai

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'That' is a conjunction in 1 and 3.
'That' is a relative pronoun in 2.
'That' is not a relative adverb.
 

terry0236

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Hi Matthew,

Can you explain how to know the diferece bewteen conjunction relatve adverb?

Terry
 

Matthew Wai

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'That' is not a relative adverb.
 

TheParser

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NOT A TEACHER



Hello, Terry:

I have found some information that may interest you.

1. The idea that came to me seemed brilliant.

a. "That" is a relative pronoun.
b. It serves as the subject of the subordinate clause, which is an adjective clause modifying "idea."

2. The idea that Mulroy is a thief is ridiculous.

a. "That" has no function in the subordinate clause.
b. It only links the two clauses.
c. "Mulroy is a thief" is a noun clause in apposition with "idea."
d. "That" is a subordinating conjunction.

NOTE: My source says that some grammarians consider both such sentences as having adjective clauses.

*****

3. Here is an example of a relative adverb: "Here's a place where we can eat."

a. "where" refers to "place."
b. "where" modifies "can eat."



My source: Paul Roberts, Understanding Grammar (1954).
 

Phaedrus

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Hi, Terry:

x. I completely agree with TheParser's explanation and application of the terms you asked about.

y. The source cited by TheParser is the book that made me fall in love with English grammar.

z. In my opinion, examples (2) and (3) in the opening post do not work very well. I recommend:

(2a) I do not know how he solved the problem.

(3a) You have the problem of water potentially sticking to your lens.

Note: I don't know whether Paul Roberts would approve of (3a). I have changed the appositive clause to a "fused participle" construction. :oops:
 

emsr2d2

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Hi Matthew,

Can you explain how to [STRIKE]know[/STRIKE] tell the difference between a conjunction and a relative adverb?

Hi,

I am very confused as to whether "that" is a conjunction or a relative adverb.

1) I believe the fact that Jane likes John. [conjunction]
2) I don't know the way that he solved the problem. [relative adverb]
3) You have the problem that water could stick to your lens.

Is "that" a conjunction or a relative adverb?
Is there [STRIKE]any[/STRIKE] an [STRIKE]good[/STRIKE] easy way to [STRIKE]know[/STRIKE] tell the difference? [STRIKE]easily?[/STRIKE]

Please help out.

Please see my corrections above. It's important to use articles, to check your spelling and to use full English words (for example, "pls" does not exist).
 

Matthew Wai

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1. I often call a friend when I feel lonely.
2. There are times when I feel lonely.

'When' is a conjunction and a relative adverb in 1 and 2 respectively.
In 1, 'when I feel lonely' is an adverbial clause modifying the verb 'call'.
In 2, 'when I feel lonely' is an adjective clause modifying the noun 'times'.

That's what I have learnt from grammar sites.
 
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