9 Facts On That As Conjunction: When, How, Examples


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

Conjunction: that

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 NumberWhen is “that” not a conjunctionExamplesExplanations
1When 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).
2When 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.
3When 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’.
4When 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 .
When is “that” not considered as conjunction

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.

Serial NumberExamplesExplanations
1Our 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.
2Sanya knew that today is a working day.Independent Clause: Sanya knew
Dependent Clause: that today is a working day
3The 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
4The 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.
5The 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
Examples of “that” as conjunctions

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).

Conclusion

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.

Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran

Hi... I am Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran, a university rank holder in M.A. English Literature. I have also done my master's in Business Administration. Inquisitive as I am, my interest in action-oriented research helped me publish research papers in reputed journals. Now, as a career, I am an instructor where I teach young and adorable students the intricate technicalities of Public Speaking and Creative Writing. I also enjoy writing articles on topics I specialize and research in. You can connect with me through LinkedIn.-https://www.linkedin.com/in/sowndharya-j-972378233

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