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Proper Usage of “That” in English

Proper Usage of That in English

In this article I will teach you about Proper Usage of “That” in English?.

The word ‘that’ is a frequent word in English and has various uses. Did you see how ‘that’ was used in the sentence before this one? Here, ‘that’ was used to give more information about something. Sometimes, ‘that’ can be added or omitted from a sentence.

For instance, many English learners are aware (that) you can skip ‘that,’ depending on the situation. This guide about ‘that’ will assist you in knowing when to use it and when you can leave it out.

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‘That’ as a Determiner

The word ‘that’ is used as a determiner at the start of sentences to show a single object that is far from the person speaking. Remember, ‘that’ becomes ‘those’ in plural. ‘That’ and ‘those’ are often paired with ‘there’ to show that the object(s) is far from the speaker.


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Using ‘That’ as a Relative Pronoun

‘That’ can act as a relative pronoun to join two clauses together. In this role, ‘that’ can be replaced by ‘who’ or ‘which.’

Examples: That = Which

Tom purchased the apples that the vendor was selling.

Examples: That = Who

Peter invited the boy that was new in class.

‘That’ in a Clause as an Object

‘That’ can be utilized in clauses that function as the object of a verb.


Jennifer hinted that she would be late for class.

After Reporting Verbs

‘That’ can be omitted after reporting verbs such as say (that), tell someone (that), regret (that), imply (that), etc.


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After Adjectives

Certain adjectives can be followed by ‘that’ when answering the question ‘why.’ However, ‘that’ can be omitted after the adjective.


As Object in Relative Clauses

Using ‘that’ as the object of a relative clause is common, and often ‘that’ can be omitted in this context.


Compound Conjunctions with ‘That’

There are a number of compound conjunctions (words that connect) with ‘that.’ These expressions tend to be used in formal English and include:

“in order that,” “so that,” “providing that,” “in case that,” “now that,” “given that”


‘That’ Clause as Subject of a Sentence

‘That’ clauses can function as the subject of a sentence, although this usage is more formal and less common in everyday speech.


Additionally, a common phrase “The fact that…” is often used to introduce sentences, indicating a similar idea. This phrase is more commonly used than starting a sentence with a ‘that’ clause.


Also read: Synonyms for Words that start with A

‘That’ in a Clause as a Complement to a Noun or an Adjective

‘That’ can be used in a clause that comes after a noun or an adjective, serving as a complement. This complement provides extra information about the noun or adjective, explaining the “why” behind it.



In English, understanding the various ways to use “that” enhances your communication skills. Whether it’s connecting clauses, introducing subjects, or serving as a complement, mastering the proper usage of “that” empowers you to express ideas with precision and clarity.

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