"I've heard of a few cases WHERE patients have made a full recovery even after being clinically dead for well over ten minutes."

Does English grammar allow us to use 'THAT' instead of 'WHERE'? Would it be considered less formal?

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"that" doesn't sound OK at all in your example...
Thank you for your spontaneous reply. Then would it be possible to say,
"I've just found out the fact THAT a few patients made a full recovery even from the disease"?
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Yes, that's quite possible Emotion: smile
Which also means a sentence such as the following is also possible, "I've been told the fact that patients have made a full recovery even after being clinically dead for well over ten minutes."

Only the difference is that the one has an antecedent 'case' and the other has 'fact', which also means that it is an antecedent which determines when to use an appositive-that or adverbial clause with 'where' or 'in which', isn't it?

My real qeustion is that why 'case' couldn't be the antecedent for appositive-that, although it seems introducing a 'case' might imply that you are reporting something to someone.
I think in your example "I've been told (the fact) that...", "that" is not a relative, but a conjunction.

In the example whith "case", it is:
the case (in which =) where
You can't say *the case in that.

On the other hand, you can say: "it's the case (that) I studied last week"; here "that" is a relative, and direct object of "studied".
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I just screwed up here, there is no such thing as 'an antecedent for appositive-that'. What I mean is that the relationship between 'the fact' and 'that-clause' is appositive. And if you are allowed to use such words as 'fact' or 'situation' with 'that-clause', why not using 'case' with 'that-clause' and make them 'appositive'?
I'm not good at all with grammar explanations Emotion: tongue tied
You'd better wait til a native sees your post.
All I can say is that when you describe a case, it's the case "in which" a patient etc etc, not the case that a patient...
Sorry I can't help you more...
Hi Infinity,

I'm afraid this is one of those grammar "rules".

Relative pronouns like who, which, that, can be used to join clauses, just like conjunctions.

We can use "that" instead of "which" or "who(m)", but never instead of "when" or "where"

Sorry about that. Emotion: smile
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