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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
that /ðæt; unstressed ðət/USA pronunciation
pron. and adj., pl. those;WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
- (used to refer to a person or thing pointed out or present, mentioned before, or supposed to be understood by the speaker and the listener, or to give emphasis):That is her mother (= the woman we have just pointed to or spoken about). After that we never saw each other ( = after some event we have just described,...). That's the man—with the plaid coat! (= the man you were just asking me if I'd seen).
- (used to indicate one of several people or things already mentioned and to refer to the one that is farther away or more distant or remote in place, time, or thought; opposed to this)this:This is my sister and that's my cousin (= The one next to me or near me is my sister, and the one farther away is my cousin). Here, I'll take this and you take that (= I'll take the one near me, and you take the one near you or the one farther away from both of us).
- (used to indicate one of several people or things already mentioned and to imply or suggest that there is a contrast between the two;
opposed to thisthis):This suit fits me better than that.
- (used to introduce a relative clause, a clause that defines or says something to pinpoint the person or thing referred to):We saw the house that collapsed.
- (used in conversation to add or connect something to some idea or statement previously made, so as to give more information about it):"I'd like to see you again tomorrow night.''—"That would be fine.''
- (used before a noun to indicate a person, place, thing, or degree as indicated, mentioned before, present, well-known, or characteristic:That woman is her mother (= the one we were talking about).
- (used before one noun from a group to indicate the one farther away or more distant or removed in time, place, or thought from the other or others already mentioned; opposed to this)this:This room is his and that one is mine ( = The one near us or near me is his, and the one near you or farther away from both of us is mine).
- (used before a noun to indicate one of several people or things already mentioned and to imply that there is a contrast between the two;
opposed to this):not this house, but that one.
- (used with adjectives and adverbs of quantity or amount) to the extent or degree indicated; so;
as much as:Don't take that much (= Don't take as much as you have taken, or as much as my hand indicates or points to).
- to a great extent or degree:I guess it's not that important.
- (used to introduce a subordinate clause that functions as the subject or object of the principal verb, introducing a necessary addition to a statement made, or introducing a clause that expresses cause, reason, purpose, aim, etc.:I'm sure that you'll like it. I believe that God exists.
- (used to introduce an exclamation expressing strong feeling when another word, as a verb, has been left out):Oh, that I had never been born! (= Oh, I wish that I had never been born).
- Idiomsat that, in addition; besides:It was a long wait, and an exasperating one at that.
- Idiomsthat is, to be more accurate:I read the book; that is, I read most of it.
- Idioms, Informal Termsthat's that, [Informal.]there is no more to be said or done:I'm not going, and that's that!
- Idiomswith that, following that; thereupon:She said, "I quit!,'' and with that she left.
(ᵺat; unstressed ᵺət), pron. and adj., pl.those;
- (used to indicate a person, thing, idea, state, event, time, remark, etc., as pointed out or present, mentioned before, supposed to be understood, or by way of emphasis):That is her mother. After that we saw each other.
- (used to indicate one of two or more persons, things, etc., already mentioned, referring to the one more remote in place, time, or thought; opposed to this):This is my sister and that's my cousin.
- (used to indicate one of two or more persons, things, etc., already mentioned, implying a contrast or contradistinction;
opposed to this):This suit fits better than that.
- (used as the subject or object of a relative clause, esp. one defining or restricting the antecedent, sometimes replaceable by who, whom, or which):the horse that he bought.
- (used as the object of a preposition, with the preposition standing at the end of a relative clause):the farm that I spoke of.
- (used in various special or elliptical constructions):fool that he is.
- in spite of something; nevertheless:Although perhaps too elaborate, it seemed like a good plan at that.
that is, (by way of explanation, clarification, or an example); more accurately:I read the book, that is, I read most of it.Also,that is to say.
Informal Termsthat's that, [Informal.]there is no more to be said or done;
- in addition;
besides:It was a long wait, and an exasperating one at that.
that is finished:I'm not going, and that's that!
with that, following that; thereupon:With that, he turned on his heel and fled.
- (used to indicate a person, place, thing, or degree as indicated, mentioned before, present, or as well-known or characteristic):That woman is her mother. Those little mannerisms of hers make me sick.
- (used to indicate the more remote in time, place, or thought of two persons, things, etc., already mentioned; opposed to this):This room is his and that one is mine.
- (used to imply mere contradistinction;
opposed to this):not this house, but that one.
- that way, [Informal.]in love or very fond of (usually fol. by about or for):The star and the director are that way. I'm that way about coffee.
- (used with adjectives and adverbs of quantity or extent) to the extent or degree indicated:that much; The fish was that big.
- to a great extent or degree;
very:It's not that important.
- Slang Terms[Dial.](used to modify an adjective or another adverb) to such an extent:He was that weak he could hardly stand.
- (used to introduce a subordinate clause as the subject or object of the principal verb or as the necessary complement to a statement made, or a clause expressing cause or reason, purpose or aim, result or consequence, etc.):I'm sure that you'll like it. That he will come is certain. Hold it up so that everyone can see it.
- (used elliptically to introduce an exclamation expressing desire, a wish, surprise, indignation, or other strong feeling):Oh, that I had never been born!
Etymology:bef. 900; Middle English;
4 . When that introduces a relative clause, the clause is usually restrictive;
Old English thæt (pronoun, adjective, adjectival, adverb, adverbial and conj.), origin, originally, neuter of se the;
cognate with Dutch dat, German das(s), Old Norse that, Greek tó, Sanskrit tad
that is, essential to the complete meaning of the sentence because it restricts or specifies the noun or pronoun it modifies. In the sentence The keys that I lost last month have been found, it is clear that keys referred to are a particular set. Without the that clause, the sentence The keys have been found would be vague and probably puzzling. That is used to refer to animate and inanimate nouns and thus can substitute in most uses for who(m) and which: Many of the workers that (or who) built the pyramids died while working. The negotiator made an offer that (or which) was very attractive to the union. Experienced writers choose among these forms not only on the basis of grammar and the kind of noun referred to but also on the basis of sound of the sentence and their own personal preference.The relative pronoun that is sometimes omitted. Its omission as a subject is usually considered nonstandard, but the construction is heard occasionally even from educated speakers:A fellow(that) lives near here takes people rafting. Most often it is as an object that the relative pronoun is omitted. The omission almost always occurs when the dependent clause begins with a personal pronoun or a proper name:The mechanic(that) we take our car to is very competent. The films (that) Chaplin made have become classics. The omission of the relative pronoun as in the two preceding examples is standard in all varieties of speech and writing. 18 . The conjunction that, which introduces a noun clause, is, like the relative pronoun that, sometimes omitted, often after verbs of thinking, saying, believing, etc.:She said(that) they would come in separate cars. He dismissed the idea (that) he was being followed. As with the omission of the relative pronoun, the omission of the conjunction almost always occurs when the dependent clause begins with a personal pronoun or with a proper name. This omission of the conjunction that occurs most frequently in informal speech and writing, but it is a stylistic option often chosen in more formal speech and writing.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
that /ðæt; (unstressed) ðət/ determiner (used before a singular noun)
- used preceding a noun that has been mentioned at some time or is understood: that idea of yours
- (as pronoun): don't eat that, that's what I mean
- used preceding a noun that denotes something more remote or removed: that dress is cheaper than this one, that building over there is for sale
- (as pronoun): that is John and this is his wife, give me that
- used to refer to something that is familiar: that old chap from across the street
- and that, and all that ⇒ informal everything connected with the subject mentioned: he knows a lot about building and that
- at that ⇒ (completive-intensive) additionally, all things considered, or nevertheless: he's a pleasant fellow at that, I might decide to go at that
- like that ⇒ with ease; effortlessly: he gave me the answer just like that
- of such a nature, character, etc: he paid for all our tickets — he's like that
- that is ⇒ to be precise
- in other words
- for example
- that's that ⇒ there is no more to be done, discussed, etc
- used to introduce a noun clause: I believe that you'll come
- Also: so that, in order that used to introduce a clause of purpose: they fought that others might have peace
- used to introduce a clause of result: he laughed so hard that he cried
- used to introduce a clause after an understood sentence expressing desire, indignation, or amazement: oh, that I had never lived!
- used with adjectives or adverbs to reinforce the specification of a precise degree already mentioned: go just that fast and you should be safe
- Also: all that (usually used with a negative) informal (intensifier): he wasn't that upset at the news
- dialect (intensifier): the cat was that weak after the fight
Etymology: Old English thæt; related to Old Frisian thet, Old Norse, Old Saxon that, Old High German daz, Greek to, Latin istud, Sanskrit tadUSAGE
- used to introduce a restrictive relative clause: the book that we want
- used to introduce a clause with the verb to be to emphasize the extent to which the preceding noun is applicable: genius that she is, she outwitted the computer
Precise stylists maintain a distinction between that and which: that is used as a relative pronoun in restrictive clauses and which in nonrestrictive clauses. In the book that is on the table is mine, the clause that is on the table is used to distinguish one particular book (the one on the table) from another or others (which may be anywhere, but not on the table). In the book, which is on the table, is mine, the which clause is merely descriptive or incidental. The more formal the level of language, the more important it is to preserve the distinction between the two relative pronouns; but in informal or colloquial usage, the words are often used interchangeably