1. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    Bad habit of usng "that" but unsure of the rules

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by robertpri007, Oct 23, 2012.

    I have reached the point of using search to find my uses of "that", and then try to fix them.

    ...I knew she would...
    ...I knew that she would...

    After reading them over and over, they both sound fine, but certainly one way is better.

    Help
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Doesn't it depend on the tone and pace of the rest of the paragraph? Maybe posting a longer excerpt - say, the full sentence or maybe a couple of sentences surrounding the one in question might help?
     
  3. Thromnambular
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    Thromnambular Member

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    Grammatically/semantically, both of those should be correct. I would just use whichever sounds better in the situation or context. If, for example, a character is saying that, I'd take his/her manner of speaking into consideration. Like Mckk said, it would otherwise simply concern tone/pace.
     
  4. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is a stylistic choice, but there seems to be a US/UK difference in preference. In the UK it seems we usually prefer to include "that", in the USA it seems that they usually prefer to omit it. So maybe "certainly one way is better", but which one it is depends on where you are.
     
  5. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with both Mckk and Throm above.

    Re. the above excerpt the word 'that' is unnecessary; therefore I'd delete it - but as the others have said; style could dictate otherwise.
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Further to this, Fowler's Modern English Usage describes omitting "that" as "An exercise of the ancient right to abstain from subordinating a substantival clause", and that while some verbs can include or drop "that" at will, other verbs show a strong preference one way or the other. For example, "assert" is particularly likely to take "that". I suspect those strong preferences vary from place to place.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all of the above...

    as an editor and writing tutor, i generally caution writers to leave it out, since most newish ones tend to overuse it and use it where obviously not needed...
     
  8. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    Thanks, that's me. As noted, I go back with a search and remove about 75% of "that's"
     
  9. captken
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    captken Member

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    I must love "That" word because I over use it. I've used the "Search" function to find and destroy THAT more than once.

    Once more I have profited from this site. Thanks again.

    captken
     

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