1

that

play
pronoun \ ˈt͟hat , t͟hət \

Definition of that

plural those play \ˈt͟hōz\
1 a :the person, thing, or idea indicated, mentioned, or understood from the situation
  • that is my father
b :the time, action, or event specified
  • after that I went to bed
c :the kind or thing specified as follows
  • the purest water is that produced by distillation
d :one or a group of the indicated kind
  • that's a cat — quick and agile
2 a :the one farther away or less immediately under observation or discussion
  • those are maples and these are elms
b :the former one
3 a used as a function word after and to indicate emphatic repetition of the idea expressed by a previous word or phrase
  • he was helpful, and that to an unusual degree
b used as a function word immediately before or after a word group consisting of a verbal auxiliary or a form of the verb be preceded by there or a personal pronoun subject to indicate emphatic repetition of the idea expressed by a previous verb or predicate noun or predicate adjective
  • is she capable? She is that
4 a :the one :the thing :the kind :something, anything
  • the truth of that which is true
  • the senses are that whereby we experience the world
  • what's that you say
b those plural :some persons
  • those who think the time has come
all that
:everything of the kind indicated
  • tact, discretion, and all that
at that
1 :in spite of what has been said or implied
2 :in addition :2besides

Origin and Etymology of that

Middle English, from Old English thæt, neuter demonstrative pronoun & definite article; akin to Old High German daz, neuter demonstrative pronoun & definite article, Greek to, Latin istud, neuter demonstrative pronoun


2

that

play
conjunction \ t͟hət , ˈt͟hat \

Definition of that

1 a (1) used as a function word to introduce a noun clause that is usually the subject or object of a verb or a predicate nominative
  • said that he was afraid
(2) used as a function word to introduce a subordinate clause that is anticipated by the expletive it occurring as subject of the verb
  • it is unlikely that he'll be in
(3) used as a function word to introduce a subordinate clause that is joined as complement to a noun or adjective
  • we are certain that this is true
  • the fact that you are here
(4) used as a function word to introduce a subordinate clause modifying an adverb or adverbial expression
  • will go anywhere that he is invited
b used as a function word to introduce an exclamatory clause expressing a strong emotion especially of surprise, sorrow, or indignation
  • that it should come to this!
2 a (1) used as a function word to introduce a subordinate clause expressing purpose or desired result
  • cutting down expenses that her son might inherit an unencumbered estate
  • —W. B. Yeats
(2) used as a function word to introduce a subordinate clause expressing a reason or cause
  • rejoice that you are lightened of a load
  • —Robert Browning
(3) used as a function word to introduce a subordinate clause expressing consequence, result, or effect
  • are of sufficient importance that they cannot be neglected
  • —Hannah Wormington
b used as a function word to introduce an exclamatory clause expressing a wish
  • oh, that he would come
3 used as a function word after a subordinating conjunction without modifying its meaning
  • if that thy bent of love be honorable
  • —William Shakespeare

First Known Use of that

before 12th century


3

that

adjective

Definition of that

plural those
1 a :being the person, thing, or idea specified, mentioned, or understood
b :being the one specified usually used for emphasis
  • that rarity among leaders
  • that brother of yours
c :so great a :such
2 :the farther away or less immediately under observation or discussion
  • this chair or that one

Examples of that in a Sentence

  1. She twisted it this way and that way.

First Known Use of that

12th century


4

that

play
pronoun \ t͟hət , ˈt͟hat \

Definition of that

1 used as a function word to introduce a restrictive relative clause and to serve as a substitute within that clause for the substantive modified by the clause
  • the house that Jack built
  • I'll make a ghost of him that lets me
  • —William Shakespeare
2 a :at which :in which :on which :by which :with which :to which
  • each year that the lectures are given
b :according to what :to the extent of what used after a negative
  • has never been here that I know of
3 a archaic :that which
b obsolete :the person who

that, which, or who?

In current usage that refers to persons or things, which chiefly to things and rarely to subhuman entities, who chiefly to persons and sometimes to animals. The notion that that should not be used to refer to persons is without foundation; such use is entirely standard. Because that has no genitive form or construction, of which or whose must be substituted for it in contexts that call for the genitive.


that vs. which

Although some handbooks say otherwise, that and which are both regularly used to introduce restrictive clauses in edited prose. Which is also used to introduce nonrestrictive clauses. That was formerly used to introduce nonrestrictive clauses; such use is virtually nonexistent in present-day edited prose, though it may occasionally be found in poetry.


Origin and Etymology of that

Middle English, from Old English thæt, neuter relative pronoun, from thæt, neuter demonstrative pronoun


5

that

play
adverb \ ˈt͟hat \

Definition of that

1 :to such an extent
  • a nail about that long
2 :very, extremely usually used with the negative
  • did not take the festival that seriously
  • —Eric Goldman

Examples of that in a Sentence

  1. It was the worst movie that I have ever seen. Was it really that bad? Yes, it was that bad.

  2. What would you do with that much money?

  3. Don't go over the speed limit. Does the car even go that fast?

  4. I didn't realize the book was that long.

  5. I need a nail about that long.

First Known Use of that

13th century



THAT Defined for English Language Learners

that

play
conjunction

Definition of that for English Language Learners

  • —used to introduce a clause that is the subject or object of a verb

  • —used to introduce a clause that completes or explains the meaning of a previous noun or adjective or of the pronoun it

  • —used to introduce a clause that states a reason or purpose


that

adjective

Definition of that for English Language Learners

  • —used to indicate which person, thing, or idea is being shown, pointed to, or mentioned

  • —used to indicate the one that is farther away or less familiar

  • : the other


that

play
adverb

Definition of that for English Language Learners

  • : to the degree that is stated or suggested

  • : to the degree or extent indicated by a gesture

  • : to a great degree


THAT Defined for Kids

1

that

play
pronoun \ ˈt͟hat \

Definition of that for Students

plural those \ˈt͟hōz\
1 :the person or thing seen, mentioned, or understood
  • I'm sure that is my book.
  • Those are my shoes.
2 :the time, action, or event mentioned
  • Wash up, and after that, you can eat.
3 :the one farther away
  • This is an elm, that is a hickory.
4 :the one :the kind
  • The richest ore is that found higher up.

2

that

play
conjunction \ t͟hət , ˈt͟hat \

Definition of that for Students

1 used to introduce a clause that modifies a noun or adjective
  • I'm certain that this is true.
2 used to introduce a clause that modifies an adverb or adverbial expression
  • He'll go anywhere that he is invited.
3 used to introduce a noun clause serving especially as the subject or object of a verb
  • He said that he wasn't afraid.
4 :2so 1
  • She shouted that all might hear.
5 used to introduce a clause naming a result
  • I was so hungry that I fainted.
6 :because
  • He is glad that you came.

3

that

adjective

Definition of that for Students

plural those
1 :being the one mentioned, indicated, or understood
  • that boy
  • those people
2 :being the one farther away
  • this book or that one
  • these crayons or those

4

that

play
pronoun \ t͟hət , ˈt͟hat \

Definition of that for Students

1 :who 2, whom, which
  • the person that won the race
  • the people that you saw
  • the food that I like
2 :in, on, or at which
  • the year that I moved

5

that

play
adverb \ ˈt͟hat \

Definition of that for Students

:to the extent or degree shown (as by the hands)
  • The table is about that high.


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