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This article is from "Dear abby".

Could you explain what function "That" over the line perform?
I feel it doesn't introduce a relative clause.

I guess "the that clause" expresses the speaker's wish which is not true or possible.

Am I correct about it?
I need your help.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
AvangiI'm wondering your opinion on whether a "that clause" must be relative in order to be restrictive.
I find this comment puzzling. Where did I say that? I don't think I have ever thought of that clauses in that way. In my grammar relative clauses are either restrictive (defining, BrE) or non-restrictive (non-defining, BrE), exactly as you think of them. I never thought that the conjunction that begins either a restrictive clause or a non-restrictive one. We just say it begins a that clause (very imaginative!), which often acts as an object: I know that he is rich. Not all such clauses are objects, though: It is better that you leave now.

"That is a conjunction in your sentence. My ear doesn't particularly like the subordinate that clause at all."

I should simply have omitted subordinate. I don't know what made me use the word in the first place as all clauses beginning with the conjunction that or the relative that are indeed subordinate!

CB
Hi, CB,
Different people use terms in different ways, I find.
The English "that" doesn't wear its heart upon its coatsleave, as you have pointed out.
You speak of "the conjunction that" and "the relative that." I'm still working on the fine discriminations in terminology, so I hadn't noticed that a clause beginning with the relative "that" wasn't also sometimes referred to as "a that clause."
But I now realize that when you use the expression "a that clause," you speak of one which is "introduced" by the conjunction that.

You answered Icadia's question, which I had failed to do:

Could you explain what function "That" over the line perform?
I feel it doesn't introduce a relative clause.


I'm starting to realize that the word "introduce" is key to the two "that's." It would be incorrect to say that the relative that "introduces" the clause. Perhaps it would also be incorrect to call it "a that clause," just as it would be incorrect to say that your "that clause" begins with "that." I think we're sometimes careless about these details on EF. (But certainly not all details!)

Anyway, my question which puzzled you was assuming that both types could be called "that clauses."
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AvangiAnyway, my question which puzzled you was assuming that both types could be called "that clauses."
Yes, they can! I'm sorry I have been inexact. Emotion: embarrassed Mea culpa! I suppose it's my native language that is behind all this confusion. You are right. Of course any clause that begins withthat can be called a that clause. I just didn't think of that when I used the term, probably because in my native language a conjunction and a relative pronoun are never the same word, and that's why there is no possibility of confusion or misunderstanding when the term that clause is used.

CB
Now I understand. Many thanks. Emotion: beer Emotion: beer
There's one corollary of all this for which I've never been able to get clarification, or a straight answer.

Obviously, the "relative that" is an integral part of the clause, being its subject.

But the "conjunction that" only introduces the clause.

Is there any consensus on whether or not it's proper to say that the conjunction that is considered part of the clause?
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AvangiIs there any consensus on whether or not it's proper to say that the conjunction that is considered part of the clause?
Emotion: smile Probably not.Emotion: beer However, I can't understandwhat the conjunction could be part of if not the that clause. It can't possibly be part of the main clause, can it?

I know that he is rich.

If it is considered part of the main clause, the main clause is: I know that.Emotion: big smile

Of course there is the theoretical option that thatis part of neither clause.Emotion: smile I find that notion kind of funny but I wouldn't be surprised if it had proponents. Anyway, whateverthat is or isn't part of won't give me a headache. I do consider it part of the subordinate clause, and I think that is the prevalent view in Scandinavia.

CB
Cool BreezeI do consider it part of the subordinate clause
Thanks, CB. Now I know that. Emotion: beer

- A. Emotion: coffee (I'm driving.)