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When to use the word "THAT" in questions? Can Someone Help?

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When to use the word "THAT" in questions? Can Someone Help? [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2011, 20:51
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Hey guys, i am still very confuse on when to use the word "that". I didn't know how to bring up the question until i ran into this problem, so i decided to copy and paste it here. Please help me out >.<

Scientists are investigating the possibility of microbial life in Lake Vostok, a huge body of water trapped beneath the ice of Antarctica; the lake's ecosystem is one that they believe is very similar to that beneath the frozen surface of Jupiter's moon Europa.

A.) that they believe is
B.) that they believe it to be
C.) they believe it is
D.) they believe that is
E.) they believe to be
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: When to use the word "THAT" in questions? Can Someone Help? [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2011, 22:01
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This is a tricky one.

But first, let's see the basics:

You should use THAT when you have to define or provide important information about a noun. Without that information you cannot identify the noun. For example:
I want to apply to a business school THAT ranks as one of the best schools in the world.

But if you can identify the noun, THAT is not required. In that case, you could use ", which". For example:

I want to apply to Harvard Business School, WHICH ranks as one of the best schools in the world.

You can see that "ranks....world" is just additional information. If you read only "I want to apply to Harvard Business School", you can identify the school. More information is not required.

Now let's see the question:

If we only read "the lake's ecosystem is one", we can see that it would be wrong. "ONE" has to be defined; we need THAT.

But, why can option E be correct if it doesn't have THAT? And here comes the trick:

We can ommit THAT when the object of the verb of the clause that defines (in this case, "they believe...") is the noun that it is being defined.

That's why B could also be correct, but it is wordy, and E is concise. So, E is better and correct.

I think you should read the MGMAT SC book if you are begining to study SC. It's big, but it is good!

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Re: When to use the word "THAT" in questions? Can Someone Help? [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2011, 22:16
metallicafan wrote:
This is a tricky one.

But first, let's see the basics:

You should use THAT when you have to define or provide important information about a noun. Without that information you cannot identify the noun. For example:
I want to apply to a business school THAT ranks as one of the best schools in the world.

But if you can identify the noun, THAT is not required. In that case, you could use ", which". For example:

I want to apply to Harvard Business School, WHICH ranks as one of the best schools in the world.

You can see that "ranks....world" is just additional information. If you read only "I want to apply to Harvard Business School", you can identify the school. More information is not required.

Now let's see the question:

If we only read "the lake's ecosystem is one", we can see that it would be wrong. "ONE" has to be defined; we need THAT.

But, why can option E be correct if it doesn't have THAT? And here comes the trick:

We can ommit THAT when the object of the verb of the clause that defines (in this case, "they believe...") is the noun that it is being defined.

That's why B could also be correct, but it is wordy, and E is concise. So, E is better and correct.

I think you should read the MGMAT SC book if you are begining to study SC. It's big, but it is good!

Thank you for your detail explanation. I picked B and got it wrong
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Re: When to use the word "THAT" in questions? Can Someone Help? [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2011, 03:53
"that" can be omitted, in my sense. However, explanation of metallicafan is very awesome. Thanks.
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Re: When to use the word "THAT" in questions? Can Someone Help? [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2011, 07:37
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I am joining the fray only to point out(that) this question is a time-waster.

After all, the use of that as a restrictive, relative pronoun is a non-issue here. With or without that, the choices do not veer from the crux of the matter, which indeed is the idiomatic use of believe to be. In the current regimen of an idiomless era, I do not think that this question will draw any special merit. Best to dump it IMO.

Whether you use that or not is a matter of usage and flow rather than of any grammar rule, as far as I beleive. However, I do not rule out there being a finely-defined distinction between using and not using that in the sense in which it has been used in this context

So don't hold me for my poor belief Let me add that, that has many other uses such as (1) introduction of a reported speech,(2) to maintain parallelism in two- parts sentences (3)as a singular demonstrative pronoun etc etc for which there are strong reasons.
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Re: When to use the word "THAT" in questions? Can Someone Help?   [#permalink] 07 Dec 2011, 07:37
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