Re: Usage of "that"

Subject: Re: Usage of "that"
From: aer -at- PCSI -dot- CIRRUS -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 15:01:00 PST

[Pls forgive if this is redundant; it never arrived
in my Techwrl mail, so I re-sent it again today.]

Laura,
Your 1st example is a restrictive/essential clause,
which must *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 two examples merely use that as a
conjunction, introducing noun clauses: they
roll 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."

N.B.: 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
restating 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 the "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

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


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