Omission of that

July 4, 2012pdf

The conjunction that is often left out. This is common in an informal style.

Indirect speech

That can be left out after common reporting verbs like said, thought and suggested.

  • She said that she was busy. OR She said she was busy.
  • She suggested that we should wait. OR She suggested we should wait.
  • I thought you weren’t interested. OR I thought that you weren’t interested.

That cannot be dropped after verbs like reply and shout.

  • She replied that she wasn’t interested. (NOT She replied she wasn’t interested.)
  • He shouted that he was coming. (NOT He shouted he was coming.)

That cannot be dropped after nouns.

  • He agreed with my opinion that we should start again. (NOT He agreed with my opinion we should start again.)

After adjectives

That can be left out after adjectives in some common expressions.

  • I’m glad that you are safe. OR I’m glad you are safe.
  • It’s funny that he hasn’t come. OR It’s funny he hasn’t come.
  • I was surprised that she won the prize. OR I was surprised she won the prize.

Conjunctions

That can be left out after some common two-word conjunctions (e.g. so that, such…that, now that, provided that, considering that) in an informal style.

  • Now (that) we have come so far, we may as well go all the way.
  • Speak clearly so (that) we can hear you.

That as a relative pronoun

The relative pronoun that can be left out when it is the object in a relative clause.

  • This is the woman that we were talking about. OR This is the woman we were talking about.
Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."