We use the word that as a conjunction to introduce a subordinate clause to make a statement or provide more information. In many instances, the conjunction that may be left out without affecting the meaning of the sentence.
Some basic ideas of the conjunction that:
- That as a conjunction is commonly used.
- That introduces the that-clause.
- That-clause can be the subject or object of a sentence.
- That can be left out but not if it begins a clause.
The following show how the conjunction that is used.
- He said that he was catching fish in the river.
- She was so angry that she couldn’t sleep.
- They are hoping that their missing dog will come home.
- It is possible that the murderer is her own husband.
- It is true that my grandfather wrote a book about my grandmother.
The conjunction that introduces a that-clause which is a subordinate clause. A subordinate clause cannot stand on its own as a complete sentence.
- It is quite likely that we will be late for the firework display.
(That part of the above sentence in bold is a that-clause. We cannot use it as a sentence.)
- That we will be late for the firework display.
(Wrong because it is a subordinate clause, also called a dependent clause. It must be joined to a main clause to make a complete sentence. The main clause is It is quite likely.)
A that-clause can come at the beginning of a sentence as the subject or at the end of a sentence as the object.
That he got up late doe
candoes not mean he doesn't have to go to school. (Subject)
- He recalled that he had sent the letter sometime last week. (Object)
We can leave out that wherever it may appear in a sentence but not if it is at hte beginning.
- Correct: He said that he would help me with my homework.
- Correct: He said he would help me with my homework. .
- Correct: It is true that her grandmother is one hundred years old.
- Correct: It is true her grandmother is one hundred years old.
- Correct: That he didn't know anything about it is no excuse.
- Incorrect: He didn't know anything about it is no excuse.
Each is a pair of words (conjunction + that) which together is used as a conjunction.
1. providing/providing that = on the condition that; if. That in these two sentences can be omitted.
- We will be there early providing that we can catch the first train.
- We welcome her to come along provided that she can stay out late.
2. assuming that = accept as true without proof
- I think she will marry the wealthy boss's son even assuming that she doesn't love him.
3. seeing that = because; accepting the fact that
- You may as well join them, seeing that they need another volunteer.