+0
Hello people,
I sometimes encounter that in some sentences "that" is not used in cases I think it should have been used.

Here, I write a sentence of my own and I wonder if I need to add a "that" after the word "measures".
Jhon measures partially retired work 34.1 hours.

Could you explain when I can delete "that"?
There should be a rule since I encounter a deleted that in BBC's web pages.
Comments  
Hi,

As you have observed, there are various instances where we can omit that, without altering the meaning of the sentence or producing incorrect grammar.

I suggest (that) you post some of these sentences (that) you find unusual, and then we can help you understand how and when you can omit that.

Regards, Patrick
If you want to research this topic on the Internet, the following terminology may be useful to you:

To leave the word "that" out in a sentence is called that-omission.

As far as I know, this happens in two particular instances, restrictive relative clauses and that-clauses (a type of complement clause).

Let's talk about restrictive relative clauses. These are clauses that "define" the subject of the main clause. For example: The man that we met at the train station looked familiar. Or, The house that stands on the hill is very old. In SOME of these sentences you can omit "that", but in some others you cannot. How do you know? It is quite easy, all you have to do is find out whether the word replaced by "that" in the relative clause is the subject or object of the relative clause.

The man that we met at the train station looked familiar. The man is the object of the relative clause, therefore I can safely omit that: The man we met at the train station looked familiar.

The house that stands on the hill is very old. The house is the subject of the relative clause, therefore the following sentence is INCORRECT: *The house stands on the hill is very old.

Now let us turn to that-clauses (complement clauses). These are structures such as I hope that you are well. Here the clause will always have the same meaning; it doesn't matter whether you omit that or not. Generally, people will omit that in conversation, but may well retain it in writing. Also, according to one of my grammar books, the omission of that is much more frequent when it would be followed by a personal pronoun as the subject of the that-clause:

I hope that you are well = I hope you are well. (Here, I would omit that)

I told the policeman that the dog is dangerous. (Here, I would retain that)

As you can see, there many several different uses for that small word that, and it is not easy to explain just when you can omit it....

Regards,

Patrick
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Dear Patrick,
As I was reading through your explanation
I thought I have understood it but at the end of your message you indciate it is not easy to explain.
Then what shall I do? Is not there some rule of thumbs?

Here are two examples (I omit that because this is the object right?) we can talk about:

Quinn finds in 1997 BLS statistics that, among male employees in nonagricultural industries, 17% worked part time.

A rationale to substitute the annual for weekly basis is that part time work may appear as a reduction in weeks.
by the way there has already been a thread
called "When can't we omit "that"?"
Maybe I should read it because it all explained there?
Or shall we discuss it here?
I think you should definitely read that thread, especially the explanation given by Paco. It is far more detailed than the one I have given here. Actually, it is even more detailed than the explanations in my grammar books!

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/WhenCantWeOmitThat/bxqzx/Post.htm

However, I believe it would be appropriate to keep posting your new examples to this thread, since the other one is rather old and is best left "sleeping".
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Exciter Here are two examples (I omit that because this is the object right?) we can talk about: Quinn finds in 1997 BLS statistics that, among male employees in nonagricultural industries, 17% worked part time. A rationale to substitute the annual for weekly basis is that part time work may appear as a reduction in weeks.
First of all, you must be aware that both your sentences are not of the relative clause type. Only in the relative clause type you can apply the object of the clause rule. Your sentences are of the that-clause type, so you need to apply the much more complicated rules proposed by Paco.

As a general rule, both your sentences appear to be taken from academic written text. So, independent of the rules discussed above, I would not recommend the omission of that in either of them. Academic prose tends to retain that even in cases where it could be omitted.

Regards, Patrick
I've moved this from a reply to a new post.