+1
Hi people!

I know of some cases when "that" can be omitted, as in: "I told him (that) he was looking great tonight."

Can we always omit "that" when it has this function? Here, I see it as merely connecting the two clauses.

BTW, which part of speech is "that" in my example above? Is it a subordinating conjunction?

Now, I know that, in some other cases, we can't omit it. Why is this so and which are these cases? (Of course I'm not speaking here about demonstrative pronouns.)

Now that I come to think of it, I believe this is an example of a sentence where "that" can't be omitted, but of course "that" is here a different part of speech (relative pronoun): "The dress that is lying on the bed is mine.", "The table that is broken looks awful in the room."

And, again, a case where I think it can't be omited and functions as a subordinating conjunction:

1. That your brother is a bore is undeniable.

What about this other example, which is very similar, but I doubt whether we could omit "that" here or not:

2. It is true that dental work is expensive. (I wouldn't omit it here, but I'm not sure.)

Now, what about these cases? Can "that" be omited here?:

3. I was sure that she was right

4. The belief that rates will rise soon is making everyone panic.

Here, "that" is functioning as a complement of an adjective (1) and of a noun (2).

Lastly,

5. All that glitters is not gold. "That" is the subject here, isn't it? I think it is almost obvious it can't be omitted but what part of speech is it? A relative pronoun as well?

Thanks a lot!

Mara.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Hello Mara

I am not sure whether I got what you mean. But it is true there are cases in which it is tough to take the exact meaning of <so that>.
(EX) My father hid my passport so I couldn't go to the States.
We can interpret this either way - PURPOSE or RESULT.
To make it clear that the intended meaning of <so> is RESULT, we had better put a comma before it.
My father hid my passport, (and) so I couldn't go to the States.

paco
Hello Paco2004,

Would you please explain a bit more about soft and hard verbs?
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Paco2004
Relative that
In the case 'that' is a relative, the problem is rather easy. [1] When "that" stands as the subject in a sub clause, never omit 'that'. [2] When "that" stands as the object in a sub clause, you can omit 'that' and the omission is even preferable.
(o) He is the man that lives next door to us.



One quibble -- when referring back to a human, use "who" instead of "that" --

He is the man who lives next store to us.
It was Jane who gave me the book.
I'd say when the relative pronoun refers to a person and is the subject of the relative clause.
Anonymous'One quibble -- when referring back to a human, use "who" instead of "that" --
He is the man who lives next store to us.
It was Jane who gave me the book.
Hello Anon

Do you believe "that" is never used as a nominative relative for persons in English? If you believe so, please write to the editor of New York Times that English used in the New York Times is wrong

"Murder, illusion, and lies form the basis of this convoluted drama that centers around twin sisters and the man that loves one of them."
"A historian maintains that a thirst for recognition and respect dominated Truman's life, and the man that emerges here is more troubled and complicated than the one portrayed in other biographies."
etc

paco

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RishonlyHello Paco2004,Would you please explain a bit more about soft and hard verbs?
Hello Mara
I used a phrase "hard adjective" in my explanation but I didn't use "hard verbs". I used the word "hard" just to mean "used more often in writing or formal speech than in informal speech". It is my personal term.
When a that-clause is used as the complement of an adjective, 'that' mostly can be omitted. But in the case when the adjective is a 'hard' one (that is, not often used in speech), that omission is rare.
(o) I am happy that she accepted my proposal.
(o) I'm happy she accepted my proposal.
(o) I'm surprised that she accepted my proposal.
(?) I'm surprised she accepted my proposal.
(o) I am sure that she will accept my proposal.
(o) I'm sure that she'll my proposal.
(o) I am afraid that she won't accept my proposal.
(o) I'm afraid she won't accept my proposal.
(o) She is anxious that her son (should) succeed.
(?) She is anxious her son (should) succeed.


paco


(1) I'm happy that A is A, and that B is B.

(2) I'm happy that A is A, and B is B.

(3) I'm happy A is A, and that B is B.

(4) I'm happy A is A, and B is B.
Could anybody tell me which is/are correct?
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