Re: Usage of "that"

Subject: Re: Usage of "that"
From: aer -at- PCSI -dot- CIRRUS -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 17:37:00 PST

Your 1st example is a restrictive/essential clause,
which should *always* use "that" -- *unless* you've just
introduced another clause in the sentence using "that":
"He said Monday that the part of the army which suffered
severe casualties needs reinforcement."
[quoted without permission from AP Stylebook]

The other 2 examples merely use that as a
conjunction, introducing noun clauses: they
fall naturally off your tongue, and your pen [or
keyboard], as no other form is permissible.

You may omit a "that" from a dependent clause
["immediately after" a verb says AP] just as
you might in conversation, IF the meaning
remains perfectly clear. If you notice any hint
of potential confusion, leave in the dividing "That."

NB: Many verbs require a that [meaning we expect
to hear one] after them, e.g. assert, contend, declare,
make clear, point out, state. etc. All these share the
same semantic [deep] structure, i.e. they are basically
synonyms [with different shades of meaning] for
"say" [or write], with which we generally use "that" when
making clear what the speaker expressed, that is,
when not quoting verbatim but expressing in a noun
clause the sense of his/her statement. In informal
speech we often omit a "that" when the sense is not
ambiguous or confusing, just as we emphasize it
to help clarify the sequence of thoughts or clauses.

Al Rubottom /\ tel: 619.535.9505, x1737
aer -at- pcsi -dot- cirrus -dot- com /\ fax: 619.541.2260
Original Text

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