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‘THAT’ CLAUSES That – complements constitute the most representative class of complement clauses.

Apart from those introduced by that, complement clauses can be preceded by • for (1) It is good for them to know Mathematics. (E bine să ştie matematică.) • Whether (2) I don’t know whether he will recover. (Nu ştiu dacă se va însănătoşi.) • If (3) Tell me if you need anything. (Spune-mi dacă ai nevoie de ceva.) • ∅ (4) They wanted to leave immediately. (Voiau să plece imediat.) 6.1. Syntactic Properties That Characterize ‘That’ – Complements 6.1.1. Extraposition Extraposition is a very frequent structure in English, being found not only in the case of thatclauses, but also of infinitival ones. The term extraposition refers to a construction where the expletive (empty) pronoun it appears in front position, followed by the complement clause in peripheral position. In other words, the clause is extraposed, placed in a marginal position. This phenomenon is true of more than one syntactic functions, but the subject positions the most frequently met in English: • Subject Clause unextraposed: (5) That Dorothy flew from Kansas was a surprise to everybody. (A fost o surpriză pentru toată lumea faptul că Dorothy a plecat din Kansas.) extraposed (6) It was a surprise to everybody that Dorothy flew from Kansas. (A fost o surpriză pentru toată lumea faptul că Dorothy a plecat din Kansas.) • Direct Object Clause unextraposed: (7) The plumber wrongly figured out that the pipe needed replacing. (Instalatorul a considerat în mod greşit că ţeava trebuia înlocuită.) extraposed (8) The plumber wrongly figured it out that the pipe needed replacing. (Instalatorul a considerat în mod greşit că ţeava trebuia înlocuită.) • Prepositional Object unextraposed: (9) Can you swear that the accused spent the evening with you? (Puteţi jura că acuzatul a petrecut noaptea cu dumneavoastră?) extraposed: (10) Can you swear to it that the accused spent the evening with you? (Puteţi jura că acuzatul a petrecut noaptea cu dumneavoastră?) 6.1.2. Topicalization Topicalization is the reverse of extraposition: a subject clause which is initially placed in the sentence is said to be topicalized.
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(Este clar ca bună ziua că armăsarul meu este cel mai bun. A NP (Noun Phrase) is said to be heavy when it has a large stretch of modifiers accompanying it: for instance the noun phrases the letter or the red letter are much lighter than the noun phrase the letter which he had just read. Let us also supply an example where the clausal structure jumps over prepositional phrase: From the ungrammatical structure under (17).) to (14) He threw into the basket the letter which he had just decoded.e. according to which a verb should not normally be separated from its obligatory complement. we consider topicalization to be the marked case in the language. Clause Shift is a similar rule to Heavy NP Shift as it allows for the clausal structure to be moved to the right end of the sentence. is not semantically acceptable. because the adverb phrase quietly may erroneously refer to the last verb phrase in the sentence (i. the adverb can no longer have ambiguous interpretation. 6. (A aruncat scrisoarea pe care abia o descifrase la coş. since topicalization appears mostly when a writer/speaker wishes to create a special effect of emphasis. clause shift operates and the resulting grammatical structure is: (16) Mary said quietly that she wanted to drive. (Mary spuse liniştit că vrea să conducă maşina.3. The rule of Heavy NP Shift stipulates that the heavy NP should be moved to the right and of the sentence for semantic reasons: Compare: (13) He threw the letter which he had just decoded into the basket. This syntactic operation differs from extraposition in that there is no pronoun left behind and that clause shift operates only on object clauses. Clause Shift Clause Shift is a syntactic operation that parallels that of Heavy NP Shift.Compare: (11) That my horse is the best in the world is absolutely evident. It is obviously linked to the main clause verb as intended.) This way. (Este clar ca bună ziua că armăsarul meu este cel mai bun.1. (17) *They wrote that the firm was going bankrupt to the lawyers.) (12) It is absolutely evident that my horse is the best in the world. the verb to drive). by means of clause shift. (A aruncat la coş scrisoarea pe care abia o descifrase.) Extraposition is the structure that appears much more frequently in English and that is why we consider it to be the marked case. (18) They wrote ti to the lawyers [that the firm was going bankrupt] i 2 . we obtain.) The sentence under (14) had undergone heavy NP shift by placing the long NP at the end of the whole structure so that the sentence could be more clearly understood. The clausal constituent is moved over an adverb phrase or a prepositional phrase as follows: Since (15) *Mary said [that she wanted to drive] quietly. This rule is in fact an exceptional one in that it challenges the fixed word order rules in English.

6. (Era conştientă de faptul că soţul ei o minte. (A anunţat că sunt logodiţi. etc.) (10) • Adverbial She remained at home so that she would look after the kids. deem. (Raportul în care se spune că s-a prăbuşit podul este fals. (Şi-a anunţat logodna. estimate.1.) (26) I really dislike it that he is here. judge. He announced that they were engaged. prefer.) (27) a.) (20) • Prepositional Object She was aware that her husband was lying to her. deny. The Distribution of That Complements That complements can acquire a whole range of syntactical functions: • Subject (19) • That her husband might be Jack the Ripper slightly annoys Mary.2. (A rămas acasă să aibă grijă de copii. That Complements as Direct Object Here is a list of classes of verbs after which that complements function as direct objects: a) Simple transitive verbs: such as assert. since this is the most frequent function they fulfil.) b. We will begin by discussing the context where that complements appear as direct objects. He announced their engagement.) Direct Object They reported that the bridge had fallen down. They believe that the man is guilty. 6. consider.) (12) • Attribute The report that the bridge had fallen down was not true. desire. (Lucrul important era că nimeni nu ştia despre asta. state.) (13) Let us supply a detailed list of verbs or adjectives that require the presence of these complements.2. (Mary e puţin enervată de ideea că soţul ei ar putea fi Jack Spintecătorul.) We use the notation ti (trace co-indexed with the ‘that’ clause) to underline the fact that the clausal structure has been moved in a more semantically advantageous position. (Au raportat că podul s-a prăbuşit. 3 .: (25) a. affirm. (Extraposed) (Mă deranjează faptul că este aici.) (11) • Predicative The important thing was that nobody knew about it.(Le-au scris avocaţilor că firma urma să dea faliment. predict.

) 6. turn out.(Cred că omul este vinovat.) 4 . and ultimately trivial. (I-au promis o casă nouă. it tends to appear in peripheral position by means of several syntactic processes: (31) (32) I explained to Susan that I would be back very late. (I-am explicat lui Susan că mă voi întoarce foarte târziu.) (34) The most important thing to notice with this class of intransitive verbs is that only extraposed structures are grammatical: (12) a. come about. That Complements as Subjects a) This position is filled by that complements in combination with a rather limited number of intransitive verbs: seem. possible. fair. (Mi se pare că acesta este un nou început.) Some of these verbs (seem. • clear. etc.) b.) Since the direct object that clause is heavy. şi în fine trivială. It appeared to him that she was lying to him. promise. b) adjectives (evaluative adjectives. These verbs are called ditransitive because they require two obligatory complements: a direct object and an indirect object: (29) (30) They promised him a new house. He owes it to his father that he became lawyer. (I-au promis că va primi o casă nouă. communicate.: (33) It appeared that a life could be interesting. good. (36) a.) They promised him that he would received a new house. appropriate. An Accidental Man) (Se părea că o viaţă poate fi interesantă. that express a belief of the speaker): • likely.) b. certain. (Era în orice caz clar că i se potrivea Dorinei să fie căsătorită.) a. suggest.) b. follow. probable.2. happen. etc. unlikely. It was in any case obvious that Marriage was Dorina’s lot.) b) Ditransitive verbs such as: say. sure. (I se părea că îl minte. (with that-deletion) (Cred că omul este vinovat. (Extraposition) (Faptul că a devenit avocat i-l datorează tatălui său. It occurred to John that he needed a new car. (Iris Murdoch. matter. amuzantă. amusing.2. It appears to me that this is a new beginning. I explained it to Susan that I would be back very late. (Clause Shift) (I-am explicat lui Susan că mă voi întoarce foarte târziu. occur. *That this is a new beginning appears to me.) (28) He asserted forcefully that he was innocent (with Clause Shift) (A susţinut cu tărie că este nevinovat. appear) may optionally be followed by an indirect object: a. They believe the man is guilty. etc.) b. appear. etc. explain. interesting. (Îi veni ideea că John are nevoie de o maşină nouă.

… for a few days I thought it possible that you wanted simply to nerve yourself to break things off. That he knew nothing about Poland was obvious to all his friends. pain. Galsworthy – Over the River) (Păcat că bărbaţii sunt aşa de lipsiţi de răbdare. confuse. (39) It is a wonder that you weren’t killed. surprise. (Era clar pentru toţi prietenii lui că nu ştia nimic despre Polonia. It stirs me that I was thought worthy (Mă impulsiona faptul că mă credeau vrednic.) b. tempt. interest. ibid.) (Nu exista îndoială că afacerile mergeau prost.) Sometimes the adjective can appear alone. There was no denying business was rotten. ibid. (Faptul că toată lumea da vina pe el îl deprima evident.) e) psychological transitive verbs : alarm. etc. wonder. pity. please. miracle. (Iris Murdoch. relieve.) (Ciudat că poţi dori cu atâta naturaleţe să te întinzi în pat şi să adormi pe vecie.) b) Nouns – that come from the same semantic area as adjectives: problem. It was obvious to all his friends that he knew nothing about Poland. Galsworthy – Over the River) (Păcat că bărbaţii sunt aşa de lipsiţi de răbdare. It was not just that Austin was an object of interest because of the Matthew legend. or without the copula: (37) a.) (… câteva zile am crezut că e posibil să îţi doreşti pur şi simplu să ai curajul să distrugi totul.) b.2. trouble.) d) –ing forms (verbal nouns) (41) a. idea. soothe. (Iris Murdoch.: (42) a. (Nu exista îndoială că afacerile mergeau prost.) b.) b. ibid.b. That Complements as Prepositional Objects 5 . (J. That everybody blames him obviously depressed him.) 6. etc. A pity men were so impatient. amaze. A pity that men were so impatient. Odd that one should so naturally wish to lie upon one’s bed to go to sleep forever.) Some of these adjectives my take indirect objects: (38) a. ibid.3. annoy. impediment.) b. (E mare minune că nu ai fost ucis. (that-deletion) (Iris Murdoch. frighten. There was no denying that business was rotten. (Era clar pentru toţi prietenii lui că nu ştia nimic despre Polonia. (that – deletion) (J. (Iris Murdoch.) The noun can appear in isolation: (40) a.) (Nu era numai faptul că Austin constituia un obiect de interes din cauza legendarului Matthew.

happy about (47) a. rejoice at. She decided that she would come here.) b) transitive prepositional verb: advise somebody of. (Extraposed) (Poţi conta pe faptul că va fi de acord cu condiţiile tale.) b. You may depend upon it that he will agree with your terms. blame somebody for.g. We assume that prepositions are dropped in front of that-clauses. congratulate somebody on . We retain however the name prepositional object clause for these particular thatcomplements because the basic structure it is derived from is a predicate + a preposition: e. admit of. see to. (Al doilea motiv pentru plecarea mea era că nu-l mai iubeam pe Bill. (Fapt e că nu poate veni cu noi mâine. theorize about. I was fully aware of it that things were so bad. bring about. (I-au amintit să plece.) b. confident in.) b. (S-a hotărât să vină aici.) c) the exceptional case of the verb remind somebody of where there is an indirect object present: (46) They remind him that she should leave.) b.2.) 6 .) 6. (Au votat să continue greva. (S-a mirat că mai este acolo. They voted that the strike should go on. accuse somebody of.4. statement. She decided on coming here. I was afraid that she might not come. pray for. claim.etc. (I-a informat că pleacă. etc. ask for.It is known that the presence of THAT normally excludes the possibility that a preposition could appear in front of the that complement. The second reason for my departure was that I didn’t love Bill any more.) In example (43) we consider that the underlined clause functions as prepositional object required by the verb decide.: (45) He informed them that he would leave. alarmed at. (Extraposed) (Îmi dădeam perfect seama că lucrurile stăteau prost. (S-a hotărât că va veni aici.) d) adjectives: afraid of.) c. He wondered that she was still there. idea. decide on something > decide that … (43) a. (Mă temeam că s-ar putea să vină.: (44) a. That complements appear as prepositional objects after: a) simple intransitive prepositional verbs: decide on.: (48) a The fact is that he cannot join us tomorrow. reason. etc. ‘That’ complements as Predicatives They appear in equative copulative sentences (of the type X is Y or Y is X) when the subject is an abstract nominal such as: fact. vote for.

) b. in the hope that. They paid her a large salary in the hope that she would stay with them.) One has to bear in mind that the examples above contain that complements. not wh-ones. etc. on purpose that. the book which I gave him). : (49) The fact that she is in debt bothers his wife immensely. on the ground that. to: (51) the wish that he should return the money. in/with the intent that. like now. We included that-relative clauses in the larger class of wh-complements (although relative that.e.2. fact. they lose their meaning. or derived from verbs. (Faptul că are datorii o deranjează enorm pe nevastă-sa. not *on the condition that exactly because the noun is losing its autonomous meaning and is becoming more and more part of the conjunctive phrase. for instance. in order that. The examples here contain only that complements and this is explained by the fact that they are required only by nouns that are either abstract.) In example (54) the Conjunctive phrases introducing it are formed by means of a prepositional phrase and that. The nouns in these constructions tend to become grammaticalized (i. become abstract) and that is why they may lose their ability to take determiners and adjectives: we say. (O antipatizeaza pe motiv ca e prea mindra. wish. The noun within the prepositional phrase indicates the meaning. the interpretation of the adverbial clause: ground => reason.2. (I-au dat un salariu mare in speranta ca va ramine la ei. ‘That’ Complements as Attributes 3 after abstract nouns (idea. to the end that. ‘That’ complements as Adverbials Adverbial that clauses can be divided into two classes according to what pattern of subordination they observe: a) the prepositional phrase model – where prepositional phrases are used to introduce that-adverbial clauses: for fear that. 6. for example. hope =>purpose.5. (dorinţa ca el să returneze banii. in event that. Compare: (50) the book that I gave him (cartea pe care i-am dat-o) Where that is replaceable by which (i.) Where in fact the that-clause can be seen as the former complement of the verb wish: (52) She wished that he should return the money. (Dorea ca el să returneze banii.) A further argument against interpreting the that-clause from (51) as a relative clause is the fact that the introductory element cannot be replaced by which in this case: (53)* the wish which we should return the money. etc ) 4 after deverbal nouns (nouns derived from verb): claim.: (53) a.6. proposal. etc.6. 7 .e. are not graphically wh-words). on condition that. with a view that. on condition that. They dislike her on the ground that she is too proud.

) b. ibid. (I-a dat un asemenea răspuns că nu ne-am putut îndoi de el. She has everything save that she lacks intelligence.) a.) (Îmi place de el pentru că e deştept.) c) adverbial subordination – by means of that conjunction phrases where there are no prepositional phrases available: Result: so +adverb/adjective … that – in this structure the degree word ( so. prepositions were allowed in front of that-clauses.) On some occasion SUCH can optionally move: (63) a. but nowadays there are very few examples of this kind left: (54) Before that man came I saw you. the noun following it is deletable: (62) a. (I-a dat un răspuns pe care îl aştepta. His answer was such that we couldn’t doubt its wisdom. as is shown in the following: (61) He placed his chair by the window so he would see her pass. (Astfel suna răspunsul lui încât nu ne puteam îndoi de înţelepciunea sa. (Şi-a pus scaunul lângă fereastră. similar to the construction existent in Romanian: Te-am văzut înainte ca el să vină. … now that Charlote had insinuated herself into the flat there was nowhere to bring Dorina … (Iris Murdoch. (Este un om aşa de drăguţ că femeile se îndrăgostesc imediat de el.In older stages of English. (this is one of the few examples still used in contemporary English.) 8 (64) . (I-a dat genul de răspuns pe care îl aştepta. His answer was such an answer that we couldn’t doubt its wisdom. He gave an answer such that I had expected.) b. He gave such an answer as had expected.) *He is a competent teacher that every student loves him. that we wouldn’t doubt it. (Astfel sună răspunsul lui încât nu ne puteam îndoi de înţelepciunea sa. He gave such an answer that we couldn’t doubt it. (this example is a sample of archaic language. (Nu-i lipseşte nimic cu excepţia faptului că nu e inteligentă.) (55) I like him in that he is smart. să o vadă trecând.) b. (I-a dat un asemenea răspuns încât să nu ne putem îndoi de el. such) is crucial for the grammaticality of the sentence in question: (57) (58) (59) (60) He is so competent a teacher that every student loves him. He is such a nice man that women instantly fall for him. He gave an answer such.) *He is a nice man that women instantly fall for him. (Este un profesor atât de competent încât toţi studenţii îl iubesc.) When the structure contains the word such.) A similar situation is exhibited in: (56) a.) (…acum că Charalote se insinuase în apartament nu mai avea unde să o aducă pe Dorina…) b. That can be deleted.

because that has been deleted. (67) a. they were chained to each other forever. When Can We Delete ‘That’? .) b. they were chained to each other forever. ‘That Deletion 6. rele. When is ‘That’ Obligatory? .) The omission of that is an indication that the speaker does not want to be formal.) (66) * He will ever come back is a question still. *I like it he was here. (A dovedit că poate să facă asta.That – deletion is more acceptable if the verb/adjective/noun requiring the complement clause is a frequently used item or if it is frequent in combination with that-clauses.) *It had also produced the certainty that they belonged together and.It is impossible to delete that in unextraposed clauses: (65) That he will ever come back is a question still. . If the verb in question is a not so ordinary one./noun directly. that he uses a relaxed tone. (A prins de veste că ei vin. ibid.‘That’ deletion is blocked if an object clause has been extraposed: (71) a. (Încă ne întrebîm dacă se va mai întoarce.3.) c. He showed he was able to do it. (A spus că a împrumutat bani de la ea. (Iris Murdoch.That can be deleted if it follows the main verb/adj. for better or worse. erau legaţi pe veci unul de celălalt. for better or worse. . I like it that he was here. omission of that is impossible: (68) *He objected it was already too late to leave.3.) b. condusese la certitudinea că trebuiau să fie împreună şi că.3.3.1.6. 6. He got word they were coming. but it is usually required if the complement clause is separated from the main verb by intervening material: (69) It had also produced the certainty that they belonged together and that.3. bune. (70) In example (71) we interpret the last clause as being coordinated with the main clause not with the first that clause. (Îmi place că e aici. He said he had borrowed her money. When is ‘That’ Deletion Obligatory? That deletion is absolutely obligatory if the subject of the complement clause is questioned or relativized: You say (73) Who did you say was coming? (Cine spui că a venit?) But never 9 .2. 6.) (De asemenea.

) b. He told me that she was there.) b. The changes in the embedded clause are as follows: Present ----- Past (75) a.4. thus showing the temporal relation (anteriority. And that is demonstrated by the fact that even if we negate the main clause. He said he would have arrived by the time she left. 6.) Let us discuss those particular cases when these rules are optional: 1. I will leave her.) b. spuse el. (Până pleacă vine el.) b.) the complement clause is interpreted as true. he said. (Mi-a spus că a fost acolo. (Am să o părăsesc. (79) I realize that he is a genius. posteriority) holding between the actions of the main and the subordinate clause. For instance. “She is there”. simultaneity. (A spus că o să vină el până pleacă ea. (“Era acolo”.) Future ------- Future in the Past (77) a. The Present – Past rule can be optional with the so-called FACTIVE verbs (that is verbs that presuppose the truth of their complement). He will have arrived by the time she leaves. spuse el. he said. (Mi-a spus că ea este acolo. The Sequence of the Tenses in Object That Clauses The tenses in complement clauses are oriented towards the tenses of the main clause.(74) *Who did you say that was coming? This is explainable by the fact that who is the subject of the that clause. He told me that she had been there. which is ungrammatical. only I don’t realize it). 10 . The presence of that can lead to a double subject construction. “She was here”.) Future Perfect ------Future Perfect in the Past (78) a. when you say. He said he would leave her. (“Este acolo”. the truth value of the complement clause remains the same: (80) I don’t realize that he is a genius (that means still that he is a genius.) ] Past Perfect Past ] Present Perfect Past Perfect ] (76) a. (Îmi dau seama că este un geniu. (A spus că o să o părăsească.

report. (Părea / era probabil / posibil / neplăcut că noul conducător al grupului era agent secret.) b. expressed by the Generic Present are normally preserved in the present even if they can be found right in the middle of a narration: (83) It was and was not like the first day of the honeymoon when the newly maarried pair. hope. She still believed that the earth was flat. in tender deference to each other. (82) It seemed/was likely/possible/unfortunate that the new leader of the group was/*is an undercover agent. show. with which the speaker does not wish to identify himself: (84) a. She realized that all men are fools. say. She suspected that Bill left before the police arrived. (Ea tot mai credea că pământul este rotund.) On the other hand. we notice that general truths. She believed that the earth is round.) The Past Tense imposes itself when the action expressed by it is relevant to some point in the past. discover. regret. (Şi-a dat seama că toţi bărbaţii sunt nişte proşti. think. (Iris Murdoch.) If we consider this rule outside the domain of that complements. Bill reported that coconuts grow high upon trees. The Black Prince) (Era şi nu era ca în prima zi a lunii de miere când perechea proaspăt căsătorita. there is a whole range on verbs that require that the rule should be observed: know. etc. (Bill a anunţat că nucile de cocos stau foarte sus în copac.) b. etc. (Bill a anunţat că nucile de cocos stau foarte sus în copac. (Ea bănuia că Bill plecase înainte să sosească poliţia. be aware.) In (85b) ‘he’ disagrees with her opinion and that is why Past Tense is used. insist. whisper. be amazed/concerned. believe. She suspected that Bill had left before the police arrived. (Ea tot mai credea că pământul este plat. Consider also: (85) a. simulează obiceiuri care nu le aparţin.) 11 . simple Past Tense (that) cannot be seen as simultaneous with the verb in the main clause: (86) a.) b. cu un respect tandru unul faţă de altul.With such verbs as realize. (Ea bănuia că Bill a plecat înainte să sosească poliţia.) In (84) a Past is used to show that the speaker does not agree with what the character ‘she’ considers to be a general truth. forget. (Ştia că ea crede că toţi bărbaţii sunt nişte proşti. the rule of the sequence of tenses Present --- Past is optional: (81) a. mention. wish. He knew that she thought all men were fools. 2) The rule Past ----- Past Perfect is sometimes disregarded in certain complements which contain a non-durative.) b. feign habits which are not their own. Bill reported that coconuts grew high upon trees. dream. notice.

Of course in this case you will use the future not the Future in the Past. (Peter a spus că John o să plece la 5. adverbial or prepositional phrases related to the main clause verb).Both sentences are grammatical and the presence of the adverbial clause before the police arrived contributes to the optional character of the rule. Compare this example to (87) She suspected that Bill had been there. such as (89) a. or else. Peter said that John would leave at 5. Imagine. which they share with wh-complements. That-complements can hold any sort of syntactical function.) in this case the meaning of the sentence is changed. for instance. Peter said that John will leave at 5.) where the durative character of the verb be makes it impossible for the rule to be broken: (88) She suspected the Bill was here. (Bănuia că Bill este acolo. Future – Future in the Past – this rule is rarely optional. 3. that you are uttering this sentence in front of your friend. (Peter a spus că John o să plece la 5.5 Key Concepts That complements differ from that relatives in that they appear as required by a verb. (87) shows the anteriority of Bill’s being there whereas (88) shows that the two events suspect and be there are simultaneous. 12 . on other occasions it has to stay there. These syntactic operations are shared by that-clauses with other complement clauses (such as TO-infinitives or wh-complements). topicalization (the reverse of extraposition and means of emphasis) and clause shift (syntactic operation of placing the clause at the end of the sentence when the main clause contains. object ones up to the attributive function. (Bănuia că Bill fusese pe acolo. On certain occasions that can be deleted. The most important syntactic properties they have are extraposition (by means of which the clause is placed at the end of the sentence and announced by the pronoun it). adjective or a deverbal noun.) b. The time is 3 o’clock. That object clauses normally observe the rules of the sequence of the tenses with a few (significant) exceptions. There are however cases. 6. since it indicates that the event of Bill’s leaving is anterior to the arrival of the police.) In (89b) the sequence of the tenses is not observed because for us it isn’t yet 5 o’clock. from the ordinary subject.