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).
- (stressed) enPR: thăt
Audio (US) (file) Audio (UK) (file)
- Rhymes: -æt
- (unstressed) enPR: thət, IPA(key): /ðət/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- The demonstrative pronoun and determiner that is usually stressed; the conjunction and relative pronoun that is usually unstressed.
- Introducing a clause which is the subject or object of a verb (such as one involving reported speech), or which is a complement to a previous statement.
- He told me that the book is a good read.
- I believe that it is true. — She is convinced that he is British.
- That she will come is almost certain.
- Introducing a subordinate clause expressing a reason or cause: because, in that.
- Be glad that you have enough to eat.
- (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.
- He fought that others might have peace.
- c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene iii]:
- Bassanio: Be assured you may. / Shylock: I will be assured I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me. May I speak with Antonio?
- 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.
- 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, 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."
- 1885–1888, Richard F[rancis] Burton, transl. and editor, “Night 547”, in Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night […], Shammar edition, volume (please specify the volume), [London]: […] Burton Club […], →OCLC:
- 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.
- 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, The Guardian:
- 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.
- (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[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
- What, are you mad, that you do reason so?
- 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.”
- Introducing a subordinate clause modifying an adverb.
- Was John there? — Not that I saw.
- How often did she visit him? — Twice that I saw.
- (archaic or poetic) Introducing an exclamation expressing a desire or wish.
- Oh that spring would come!
- 1864, T. S. Norgate's translation of the Iliad, book 10, page 613:
- "Would that my rage and wrath would somehow stir me, / Here as I am, to cut off thy raw flesh / And eat it."
- 1892, Paolo Segneri, The Manna of the Soul: Meditations for Each Day of the Year:
- "Oh, that they would be wise, and would understand, […] "
- Introducing an exclamation expressing a strong emotion such as sadness or surprise.
- 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii], page 4:
- I pray thee, mark me — that a brother should / Be so perfidious! —
- That can be used to introduce subordinate clauses, but 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”).
- 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 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 the usage notes for which.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
that (plural those)
- 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:
- 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.
- 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)
- 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!
- This is known as a "demonstrative adjective" in traditional terms.
that (plural those)
- (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. [from 9thc.]
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i]:
- To be, or not to be: that is the question: / Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, / And by opposing end them?
- 1888 July, The Original Secession Magazine, page 766:
- [He] 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], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, →OCLC:
- "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.
- That's my car over there.
- He went home, and after that I never saw him again.
- The known (thing); used to refer to something just said.
- They're getting divorced. What do you think about that?
- (demonstrative) The aforementioned quality or proposition; 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."
- (relative) (plural that) Which, who; representing a subject, direct object, indirect object, or object of a preposition. [from 9thc.]
- The CPR course that she took really came in handy.
- The house that he lived in was old and dilapidated.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene iv]:
- By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me.
- 2011 November 10, Jeremy Wilson, “England Under 21 5 Iceland Under 21 0: match report”, in Telegraph:
- His ability to run at defences is instantly striking, but it is his clever use of possession that has persuaded some shrewd judges that he is an even better prospect than Theo Walcott.
- 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
- Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.
- (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
- (Northern England, Manchester, Liverpool) Clipping of that is; used to reinforce the preceding assertion or statement.
- That's proper funny, that.
- 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".
that (not comparable)
- (degree) To a given extent or degree.
- "The ribbon was that thin." "I disagree, I say it was not that thin, it was thicker... or maybe thinner..."
- (degree) To a great extent or degree; very, particularly (in negative constructions).
- I'm just not that sick.
- I did the run last year, and it wasn't that difficult.
- Synonym: so
- (informal, Britain, Australia) To such an extent; so. (in positive constructions).
- 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.
that (plural thats)
- (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.
- that (connecting a noun clause)
- þat, þt, tha, dat, yt, ȝat, thette; thet (Kent, early Southwest Midlands);
- yat (Northern, Northeast Midlands, East Anglia);
- at, atte (Northern); et (Northeast Midlands);
- ðed (Southwest); þad, þæt, þeth (early); tat (after d, t or s)
- that (relative & demonstrative pronoun)
- (demonstrative): þat, thatte, thate; dat, ȝat (East Anglia); thet (Kent, early Southwest Midlands); yat (Northern, Northeast Midlands); þæt (early); tat (after d)
- (relative): þat, thate, thad, tha, yat; dat (East Anglia); þeþ, det, thet (Kent); yt (North Midlands); at, atte (Northern, Northwest Midlands); þhet (Southwest Midlands); þæt, thet (early); tat (after d or t)
- “that, pron.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- “that, rel. pron.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- that (what is being indicated)
- þat, thate, þhat, thad, tha; dat, yat (East Anglia); det, þet (Kent); þut (Southwest); yat (Northern); þet, þæt, þath (early); tat, tet (after d, t or s)
- that (to a given extent or degree)
- Alternative form of
- 1867, “THE WEDDEEN O BALLYMORE”, in SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, number 3:
- Maade a nicest coolecannan that e'er ye did zee.
- Made the nicest coolecannan that ever you did see.
- Jacob Poole (1867), 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, page 94