The part of speech that is utilized to connect or link words, clauses or sentences is conjunctions. We will here discuss the usage of the word ‘that’ as a conjunction.
The word ‘that’ can take up the role of a pronoun, determiner, adverb or a conjunction based on how, when and where it is utilized. Conjunctions are words that help to join two or more phrases, clauses, sentences or even words.
Example: Vihaan said that he would teach me this lesson.
In this sentence, the word “that” can be regarded as a conjunction since it is connecting the sub clause ‘that he would teach me this lesson’ (dependent clause) to the main clause ‘Vihaan said’ (independent clause), thus making it as a single sentence.
With the help of interesting and important facts, we shall explore the usage of the word ‘that’ as a conjunction.
When is “that” a conjunction
Now that we know the word “that” can be a conjunction, we will herefind out when the word “that” will be a conjunction.
“That” takes the role of a conjunction when it is connecting a dependent clause (subordinate clause) which is conveying either a hypothesis or a statement to that of an independent clause (main clause).
Example: Ruhi admits that it is her fault.
Main clause (independent clause): Ruhi admits
Subordinate clause (dependent clause): it is her fault
In this sentence, the word “that” is a conjunction since it is introducing the subordinate clause which is conveying a statement and connecting it with the main clause.
How is “that” a conjunction
To be sure of whether the word “that’ is a conjunction, we should first know how “that” is a conjunction which we will now discuss.
A conjunction is a word that is solely used for the purpose of connecting words, clauses, phrases or sentences and does not perform any work other than connecting. So, in that way, the word “that” functions as a conjunction, only when it is used for the purpose of connecting or joining.
Example: We wished that the question paper should be easy.
In the above sentence, the word “that” is a conjunction as it is joining two clauses: “we wished” (main clause) and “the question should be easy” (sub clause) into one sentence. Thus, conjunction “that” here is used to convey a hypothesis.
Is “that” always a conjunction
Now we know the word “that” is a conjunction, we shall find out here if “that” is always only a conjunction.
Though the word “that” is a conjunction, it is not just a conjunction always as it also functions as various other parts of speeches in different places depending upon the context in which it is utilized.
Example: Do not go that deep inside the forest.
In this particular sentence, the word “that” is not functioning as a conjunction since it is not connecting or joining any clauses, words, or sentences. Instead, “that” is an adverb here because it is describing the adjective ‘deep’ by telling us till what extent of depth.
When is “that” not considered as conjunction
Let us here explore when the word “that” is not considered as a conjunction.
The table below depicts when and at what places “that” does not function as a conjunction.
|Serial Number||When is “that” not a conjunction||Examples||Explanations|
|1||When it is functioning as a determiner by referring to a particular object or a person.||Can you pass me that book?||Here, “that” is functioning as a determiner since it is referring to a particular book (object).|
|2||When it is functioning as a demonstrative pronoun by substituting a noun or a noun phrase.||That is the girl I met in the bus yesterday.||Here, “that” is functioning as a demonstrative pronoun since it is replacing the noun ‘girl’ by pointing out or demonstrating her.|
|3||When it is functioning as a relative pronoun by introducing a relative clause.||Here is the book that you searched for.||In this sentence, “that” is functioning as a relative pronoun as it is introducing a relative clause ‘that you searched for’.|
|4||When it is functioning as an adverb by modifying or describing an action word (verb), a describing word (adjective) or yet another adverb.||You can omit this topic as it is not that important.||Here, “that” is functioning as an adverb since it is describing the adjective ‘important’ by telling us to what extent it is not important .|
What kind of conjunction is the word “that”
Coordinating conjunction and the subordinating conjunction are the two different types of conjunctions in English. Let us get to know which kind of conjunction the word “that” is.
The word “that” is nothing but a subordinating conjunction.
Why is “that” a subordinating conjunction
We will here find out the reason why the word “that” is a subordinating conjunction and not a coordinating conjunction.
A conjunction is subordinating when it is joining a subordinating clause (dependent clause) with a main clause (independent clause). Thus “that” is a subordinating conjunction as it is used to connect or join a subordinate clause with a main clause, but introducing the subordinating clause.
Example: Pihu did not know that today is a holiday.
Subordinate Clause (dependent clause): that today is a holiday
Main Clause (independent clause): Pihu did not know
Subordinating Conjunction: that
Examples of “that” as conjunctions
Let us go through the following table to get to know example sentences where the word “that” is used as conjunction.
|1||Our teacher said that we should submit our project by tomorrow noon.||Independent Clause: our teacher said|
Dependent Clause: that we should submit our project by tomorrow noon.
|2||Sanya knew that today is a working day.||Independent Clause: Sanya knew|
Dependent Clause: that today is a working day
|3||The student committee reported that more importance must be given to communication training.||Independent Clause: the student committee reported|
Dependent Clause: that more importance must be given to communication training
|4||The students asserted that they are comfortable with the new syllabus.||Independent Clause: The students asserted|
Dependent Clause: that they are comfortable with the new syllabus.
|5||The manager instructed that the project must be completed without any delay.||Independent Clause: the manager instructed|
Dependent Clause: that the project must be completed without any delay
|6||Shivali announced that the show is a great success.||Independent Clause: Shivali announced|
Dependent Clause: that the show is a great success
In all the above example sentences, the word “that” (subordinating conjunction) is utilized in introducing subordinate clauses (dependent clauses) thereby connecting them with main clauses (independent clauses).
This article explains in detail the functionalities of the word “that” as a conjunction by telling us when, how, where and why it does the role of joining words, sentences, clauses or phrases.