that

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See also: That, thật, and þat

English

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Alternative forms

  • 'at (colloquial, reduced form)
  • 't (eye dialect, contraction)
  • dat, thet (dialectal, nonstandard, pronunciation spellings)
  • yt, yt, , yt. (obsolete abbreviations)

Etymology

From Middle English that, from Old English þæt (the, that, neuter definite article and relative pronoun), from Proto-West Germanic *þat, from Proto-Germanic *þat. Cognate to Saterland Frisian dät, West Frisian dat, Dutch dat, Low German dat, German dass and das, Danish det, Swedish det, Icelandic það, Gothic 𐌸𐌰𐍄𐌰 (þata). Further from Proto-Indo-European *tód; compare Ancient Greek τό (), Sanskrit तद् (tád), Waigali ta.

Pronunciation

The demonstrative pronoun and determiner that is usually stressed; the conjunction and relative pronoun that is usually unstressed.

Conjunction

that

  1. Introducing a clause that is the object of a verb, especially a reporting verb or verb expressing belief, knowledge, perception, etc.
    He told me that the book is a good read.
    I believe that it is true.
    I can see that the ladder won't reach.
  2. Introducing a clause that is the subject of a verb, especially the 'be' verb or a verb expressing judgement, opinion, etc.
    1. As delayed subject.
      It is almost certain that she will come.
      It amazes me that people still believe this nonsense.
    2. (chiefly literary) As direct subject.
      That she will come is almost certain.
      That people still believe this nonsense amazes me.
  3. Introducing a clause that complements an adjective or passive participle.
    I'm sure that you are right.
    She is convinced that he is British.
    1. Expressing a reason or cause: because, in that.
      Be glad that you have enough to eat.
  4. Introducing a subordinate clause modifying an adverb.
    Was John there? — Not that I saw.
    How often did she visit him? — Twice that I saw.
  5. Introducing a clause that describes the information content of a preceding reporting noun.
    I heard a rumour that they got married.
    Reports that he left the country are circulating.
  6. Introducing — especially, but not exclusively, with an antecedent like so or such — a subordinate clause expressing a result, consequence, or effect.
    The noise was so loud that she woke up.
    The problem was sufficiently important that it had to be addressed.
    • 2008 May 23, Zoe Williams, “I swore I wouldn’t be an embarrassing mother. But the key to being a success in life is changing your mind, right?”, in Alan Rusbridger, editor, The Guardian, London: Guardian News & Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2014-08-14:
      My dad apparently always said that no child of his would ever be harassed for its poor eating habits, and then I arrived, and I was so disgusting that he revised his opinion.
  7. (dated) Introducing a subordinate clause that expresses an aim, purpose, or goal ("final"), and usually contains the auxiliaries may, might, or should: so, so that, in order that.
    He fought that others might have peace.
    • c. 1596–1598 (date written), W[illiam] Shakespeare, The Excellent History of the Merchant of Venice.  (First Quarto), : J Roberts , published 1600, →OCLC, [Act I, scene iii], signature B2, verso:
      Baſſ[anio]. Be aſſured you may. / Shy[lock]. I will be aſſured I may: and that I may be aſſured, I will bethinke me, may I ſpeake with Anthonio?
    • 1712 May, [Alexander Pope], “The Rape of the Locke. An Heroi-comical Poem.”, in Miscellaneous Poems and Translations. , London: Bernard Lintott , →OCLC, canto I, page 360:
      When hungry Judges ſoon the Sentence ſign, / And Wretches hang that Jury-men may Dine; []
    • 1833, Parley's Magazine, volume 1, page 23:
      Ellen's mamma was going out to pay a visit, but she left the children a large piece of rich plumcake to divide between them, that they might play at making feasts.
    • 1837, The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, volume 23, page 222:
      That he might ascertain whether any of the cloths of ancient Egypt were made of hemp, M. Dutrochet has examined with the microscope the weavable filaments of this last vegetable.
    • c. 1845–1846, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Sonnets from the Portuguese”, in Poems. , new edition, volume II, London: Chapman & Hall, , published 1850, →OCLC, sonnet XIV, page 451:
      [] Since one might well forget to weep who bore / Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby. / But love me for love's sake, that evermore / Thou may'st love on through love's eternity.
    • 1881, P. Chr. Asbjörnsen [i.e., Peter Christen Asbjørnsen], “Legends of the Mill”, in H. L. Brækstad, transl., Round the Yule Log. Norwegian Folk and Fairy Tales, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, →OCLC, page 156:
      In the olden days people had a stronger belief in all kinds of witchery; now they pretend not to believe in it, that they may be looked upon as sensible and educated people, as you say.
    • 1887, Richard F[rancis] Burton, transl. and editor, “Alaeddin; or, The Wonderful Lamp. ”, in Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night , Shammar edition, volume III, : Burton Club , →OCLC, page 108:
      Now one day of the days, [] the Sultan cast his eyes upon her as she stood before him, and said to his Grand Wazir, "This be the very woman whereof I spake to thee yesterday, so do thou straightway bring her before me, that I may see what be her suit and fulfil her need."
    • 2009, Dallas R. Burdette, Biblical Preaching and Teaching, →ISBN, page 340:
      Jesus died that we might live "through" Him.
  8. (archaic or poetic) Introducing a premise or supposition for consideration: seeing as; inasmuch as; given that; as would appear from the fact that.
    • c. 1594 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Comedie of Errors”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies  (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, , page 91, column 2:
      What are you mad, that you doe reaſon ſo?
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, “The Period”, in A Tale of Two Cities, London: Chapman and Hall, , →OCLC, book I (Recalled to Life), page 1:
      [I]n short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
    • c. 1911, D.H. Lawrence, third draft of what became Sons and Lovers, in Helen Baron (editor), Paul Morel, Cambridge University Press (2003), →ISBN, page 234:
      “She must be wonderfully fascinating,” said Mrs Morel, with scathing satire. “She must be very wonderful, that you should trail eight miles, backward and forward, after eight o’clock at night.”
  9. (archaic or poetic) Introducing an exclamation expressing a desire or wish.
    Oh that spring would come!
  10. (archaic or poetic) Introducing an exclamation expressing a strong emotion such as sadness or surprise.
    That men should behave in such a way!

Usage notes

  • That can be used to introduce subordinate clauses, but in most cases can just as easily be omitted: one can say either “he told me that it’s a good read” (in which case the second clause is a “that clause”) or “he told me it’s a good read” (in which case the second clause is a “bare clause”). Generally speaking, the omission of that imparts an informal or conversational feel. In a few such patterns, that is mandatory; for example, in the archaic sense of "in order that", we must say "He fought that others might have peace", not "He fought others might have peace".
  • Historically, that was usually preceded by a comma (“he told me, that it’s a good read”) — such usage was, for example, recommended by the grammarian Joseph Robertson in his 1785 An Essay on Punctuation — but this is now considered nonstandard.
  • Historically, that was sometimes used after a preposition to introduce a clause that was the object of the preposition, as in “after that things are set in order here, we’ll follow them” (Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI), which simply means “after things are set in order...” and would be worded thus in modern English.
  • See also the usage notes for which.

Derived terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Determiner

that (plural those)

  1. The (thing, person, idea, etc) indicated or understood from context, especially if more remote physically, temporally or mentally than one designated as "this", or if expressing distinction.
    That book is a good read. This one isn't.
    That battle was in 1450.
    That cat of yours is evil.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter VIII, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC, page 110:
      The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; for, even after she had conquered her love for the Celebrity, the mortification of having been jilted by him remained.
    • 1921, Ben Travers, “Westward Ho!”, in A Cuckoo in the Nest, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, published 1925, →OCLC, part I (“Come He Will”), page 8:
      She was like a Beardsley Salome, he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creation, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Eye Witness”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC, page 242:
      ‘No. I only opened the door a foot and put my head in. The street lamps shine into that room. I could see him. He was all right. Sleeping like a great grampus. Poor, poor chap.’
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      The gym is across from the lounge. It’s next to the mailroom. Go that way. — Thanks, Pete! — No, Anna! Not that way! Go that way!
      Audio (US):(file)

Usage notes

Derived terms

Translations

Pronoun

that (plural those)

  1. (demonstrative) The thing, person, idea, quality, event, action, or time indicated or understood from context, especially if more remote geographically, temporally or mentally than one designated as "this", or if expressing distinction.
    That's my car over there.
    He went home, and after that I never saw him again.
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke:  (Second Quarto), London: I R for N L , published 1604, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i], signature G2, recto:
      To be, or not to be, that is the queſtion, / Whether tis nobler in the minde to ſuffer / The ſlings and arrowes of outragious fortune, / Or to take Armes againſt a ſea of troubles, / And by oppoſing, end them, []
    • 1888 July, The Original Secession Magazine, page 766:
      [A] second man—[]—was qualified and fitted, both intellectually and morally,—and that to an exceptional extent—to be the Head []
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], “In the Bay of Biscay”, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, →OCLC, page 16:
      "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. I never did that. I always made up my mind I'd be a big man some day, and—I'm glad I didn't steal."
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society, published 2010, page 310:
      However [], the British were unable to do much about it short of going to war with St Petersburg, and that the government was unwilling to do.
    • 2005, Joey Comeau, Lockpick Pornography (Loose Teeth Press):
      I've never seen someone beaten unconscious before. That’s lesbians for you.
    1. Used to refer to a statement just made.
      They're getting divorced. What do you think about that?
    2. Used to emphatically affirm or deny a previous statement or question.
      The water is so cold! — That it is.
      Would you like another piece of cake? — That I would!
      We think that you stole the tarts. — That I did not!
    • 1910, Helen Granville-Barker, An Apprentice to Truth, page 214:
      "She is very honourable," said Mrs. Thompson, solemnly. "Yes, one sees she is that, and so simple-minded."
  2. (relative, plural that) In a relative clause, referring to a previously mentioned noun, as subject, direct object, indirect object, or object of a preposition; which, who.
    I didn't see the car that hit me.
    The CPR course that she took really came in handy.
    The house that he lived in was old and dilapidated.
    The poor cat, that had been trapped for three days, was freed this morning. (non-restrictive use; sometimes proscribed; see usage notes)
  3. (relative, colloquial) Used in place of relative adverbs such as where or when; often omitted.
    the place that [= where or to which] I went last year
    the last time that [= when] I went to Europe
  4. (Northern England, Manchester, Liverpool) Clipping of that is; used to reinforce the preceding assertion or statement.
    That's proper funny, that.

Usage notes

  • Some authorities prescribe that that should only be used in restrictive contexts (where the relative clause is part of the identification of the noun phrase) and which or who/whom should be used in non-restrictive contexts; in other words, they prescribe "I like the last song on the album, which John wrote". In practice, both that and which are found in both contexts.
  • In a restrictive relative clause, that is never used as the object of a preposition unless the preposition occurs at the end of the clause; which is used instead. Hence "this is the car I spoke of" can be rendered as "this is the car that I spoke of" or "this is the car of which I spoke", but not as *"this is the car of that I spoke."
  • That refers primarily to people or things; which refers primarily to things, and who refers primarily to people. Some authorities insist who/whom be used when making reference to people, but others, such as the Merriam-Webster dictionary, write that such prescriptions are "without foundation" and use of that in such positions is common and "entirely standard". Hence, one sees both "he is the man who invented the telephone" and "he is the man that invented the telephone."
  • When that (or another relative pronoun, like who or which) is used as the subject of a relative clause, the verb agrees with the antecedent of the pronoun. Thus "The thing that is...", "The things that are...", etc.
  • In the past, bare that could be used, with the meaning "the thing, person, etc indicated", where modern English requires that which or what. Hence the King James translation of John 3:11 is "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen" while the New International Version has "we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen".

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Adverb

that (not comparable)

  1. (degree) To a given extent or degree.
    1. Denoting an equal degree.
      Here's the measurement – the ribbon must be that long, no longer and no shorter.
    2. Denoting 'as much', 'no less'.
      She said we waited for three hours, but I'm sure it wasn't that long.
      It didn't seem like ten miles, but actually it was that far.
  2. (degree, in negative constructions) To a great extent or degree; very, particularly.
    Synonym: so
    I was seen quite quickly — I didn't have to wait that long.
    I did the run last year, and it wasn't that difficult.
  3. (informal, British, Australia, in positive constructions) To such an extent; so.
    Ooh, I was that happy I nearly kissed her.
    • 1693, John Hacket, “Scrinia reserata: a Memorial offered to the great Deservings of John Williams”, in Archbishop Williams:
      This was carried with that little noise that for a good space the vigilant Bishop was not awak'd with it.

Translations

Noun

that (plural thats)

  1. (philosophy) Something being indicated that is there; one of those.
    • 1998, David L. Hall, Roger T. Ames, Thinking from the Han, page 247:
      As such, they do not have the ontological weight of "Being" and "Not-being," but serve simply as an explanatory vocabulary necessary to describe our world of thises and thats.

See also

References

  1. ^ The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia (1903)
  2. 2.0 2.1 that”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.

Anagrams

Acehnese

Adverb

that

  1. very

German

Verb

that

  1. first/third-person singular preterite of thun

Middle English

Etymology

From Old English þæt, þat, þet (the, that), from Proto-Germanic *þat.

Pronunciation

Conjunction

that

  1. that (connecting a noun clause)

Alternative forms

Descendants

  • English: that
  • Scots: that
  • Yola: at, et, thet, that, th', y'at

References

Pronoun

that

  1. that (relative & demonstrative pronoun)

Alternative forms

Descendants

References

Determiner

that

  1. that (what is being indicated)

Alternative forms

Descendants

References

Adverb

that

  1. that (to a given extent or degree)

Descendants

References

Mizo

Etymology

From Proto-Kuki-Chin *that, *thaʔ (to kill), from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *g/b-sat (to kill).

Verb

that

  1. to kill; to slay

References

Old Dutch

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *þat.

Pronunciation

Pronoun

that n

  1. that, that one

Further reading

  • that (I)”, in Oudnederlands Woordenboek, 2012
  • that (III)”, in Oudnederlands Woordenboek, 2012

Determiner

that n

  1. that

Inflection

Descendants

Further reading

  • that (I)”, in Oudnederlands Woordenboek, 2012
  • that (III)”, in Oudnederlands Woordenboek, 2012

Old Saxon

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *þat.

Determiner

that

  1. nominative/accusative singular neuter of thē

Descendants

  • Middle Low German: dat
    • Dutch Low Saxon: dat
    • German Low German: dat
    • Plautdietsch: daut

Yola

Conjunction

that

  1. Alternative form of at (that)
    • 1867, “THE WEDDEEN O BALLYMORE”, in SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, number 3, page 94:
      Maade a nicest coolecannan that e'er ye did zee.
      Made the nicest coolecannan that ever you did see.

Pronoun

that

  1. Alternative form of at (that)
    • 1867, “SONG”, in SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, number 2, page 108:
      An that was a fout,
      And that was a fault.

References

  • Jacob Poole (d. 1827) (before 1828) William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, published 1867, page 94