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Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?

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Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2017, 10:27
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Verbal Experts’ Topic of the Week, June 26-30, 2017


WTF is “that” doing in my sentence?



Let’s start with yet another pop quiz, because we’re still cruel like that.

Except that this one is pretty easy. Here’s the question: is the following sentence acceptable on the GMAT?

    Bogdan's favorite restaurant is in Brooklyn that serves delicious Ukrainian vareniki.

Easy, right? Unless you’re brand-new to the GMAT, you’ve probably learned that “that” must modify the immediately preceding noun. So the sentence is illogical, since it’s literally saying that Brooklyn serves delicious Ukrainian vareniki – not the restaurant.

Easy enough. So how about this one?

    Although nearly everybody agrees that Carmelo Anthony is a terrible fit for the modern NBA, he nevertheless earns more than $30 million per year.

If you’re blindly following the “rule” that the word “that” must always modify the immediately preceding noun, you might hastily conclude that this sentence is incorrect, because “that” follows the verb (“agrees”). But this sentence is completely fine, and that brings us to an oddly nuanced question: what are the different uses of “that” on the GMAT?

So in the spirit of our previous posts on “-ing” and “-ed” words, here’s a guide to the GMAT’s four main uses of “that”.


Usage #1: "that” as a pronoun


I hear plenty of worries on GMAT Club about the use of “that” as a modifier, but in many cases, “that” is actually a noun. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Like the poetry of Bruce Willis, that of Chuck Norris is flowery and pretty.
  • Some have compared Russell Westbrook’s fashion sense to that of Kim Kardashian.

Whenever “that” is used as this type of pronoun (called a “demonstrative pronoun”, if you like jargon), it’s always singular. It’s just a tiny bit different from “it”, though: “that” basically creates a “copy” of the noun it refers back to.

So here’s what you always want to do when you see “that” used as a pronoun: replace “that” with the singular noun it “copies”, and then see if it actually makes logical sense. In my silly examples above, here’s what you’d have:

  • Like the poetry of Bruce Willis, the poetry of Chuck Norris is flowery and pretty.
  • Some have compared Russell Westbrook’s fashion sense to the fashion sense of Kim Kardashian.

Both of these make sense, so we’re all good. But the GMAT’s favorite trap with the pronoun “that” is to stick it in random places where it doesn’t belong. Check out this recent SC Question of the Day for a great example of “that” used (or misused, depending on the answer choice) as a pronoun. If you’re diligent about replacing “that” with the noun it “copies”, you won’t have any trouble at all.

Some of our other favorite official questions with demonstrative pronouns can be found here, here, and here. And this one is a particular favorite of mine, since it really forces you to think about what “that” is actually doing in the sentence.

On to the second use of “that” on the GMAT:


Usage #2: “that” as an article


The second use of “that” really isn’t all that interesting, and it rarely causes any trouble on the GMAT: “that” can just be an article that precedes a noun. A couple of examples:

  • Mike read Lord of the Flies in high school; like most teenagers, he absolutely detested that book, and prefers literature by Tripathi and Hitler.
  • Charlie is obsessed with Neerob, a Bengali eatery in the Bronx, because that restaurant’s shrimp dopeaja is consistently amazing.

In both examples, “that” is simply an article, and it’s not all that different from “the book” or “the restaurant”, except it refers back to a specific case mentioned earlier. Now, we’re not just talking about “a book” or “a restaurant” – we’re discussing that particular book or that particular restaurant.

And don’t worry: you’ll never have to choose between “that” and “the” on the GMAT. The GMAT isn’t going to do anything tricky with “that” as an article – you just don’t want to develop a case of tunnel vision, and mistake the article “that” for a noun or a modifier.

Need an official example? Here's a nice, harmless question, featuring the word “that” used as an article.

I know: that really wasn’t very exciting. Let's move on to usage #3:


Usage #3: subordinating clauses with “that”


Remember this sentence from the beginning of this thread?

    Although nearly everybody agrees that Carmelo Anthony is a terrible fit for the modern NBA, he nevertheless earns more than $30 million per year.

Occasionally, I’ll hear GMAT test-takers say that this example is wrong, because “that” must modify a noun, not a verb. But in this example, “that” is just the beginning of a subordinate clause: what is it that everybody agrees on? That “Carmelo Anthony is a terrible fit for the modern NBA.” A good example of this type of usage on the GMAT can be found in this Question of the Day, which also features some nice parallelism issues.

Again, this particular use of “that” is unlikely to cause trouble for you on the GMAT, unless you develop yet another terrible case of tunnel vision, and decide that “that” can only modify nouns.

And now for the fun stuff:


Usage #4: "that" as a modifier (the “touch rule" and its exceptions)


As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, one of the first things most people learn about GMAT sentence correction is the so-called “touch rule”: noun modifiers beginning with “that” (or “which” or “who” or “when” or “where” or “whose”) must always “touch” the noun being modified. Back to our silly example from earlier:

    Bogdan's favorite restaurant is in Brooklyn that serves delicious Ukrainian vareniki.

You’re probably still not fooled by this one: it’s literally saying that Brooklyn serves Ukrainian vareniki, and that’s simply not logical.

OK, so how about this one?

    The son of a gun that burned my dinner deserves to be punished.

If you’re being too hasty with this, you might say, “Wait, the gun didn't burn my dinner – the son did. So it’s wrong!” (For those of you who aren’t familiar with obsolete American slang: “son of a gun” is basically a really silly, mid-20th century synonym for “jerk.”)

But the sentence isn’t wrong at all, because this is a perfectly acceptable exception to the “touch rule.” The noun modifier “that burned by dinner” is “reaching back” to modify “the son” – not the gun – and that’s completely fine here. Why is that acceptable? The phrase “of a gun” is a prepositional phrase that also modifies “the son.” And it can be perfectly OK for a noun modifier to “reach behind” a prepositional phrase, as long as it’s necessary for the meaning of the sentence.

Here’s a less-slangy example:

    The first-class airline tickets to Antarctica that were purchased using Amber’s retirement savings were worth every penny.

Again, if you’re being too hasty, you might assume that the sentence is literally saying that “Antarctica were purchased using Amber’s retirement savings” – and that’s obviously incorrect. But notice that “to Antarctica” is another prepositional phrase, so it’s possible for “that were purchased” to “reach behind” the prepositional phrase if need be.

And in this case, that seems perfectly reasonable: the “first-class airline tickets… that were purchased…” makes sense. So this sentence is completely fine.


Please don’t hallucinate the exceptions!


Here’s the important thing to remember: in the vast majority of GMAT questions, “that” and other noun modifiers (“which”, “who”, “where”, “when”, etc.) will still “touch” the noun being modified. The exceptions exist, but they’re relatively rare.

So if you think you might have an exception to the “touch rule”, look for two major characteristics:

    1) “that” (and similar noun modifiers) can generally only “reach behind” prepositional phrases -- not verbs or clauses (there are exceptions, but they're relatively rare)
    2) the meaning of the sentence must give you a compelling reason to “reach behind” the prepositional phrase

So please keep in mind that exceptions to the “touch rule” are relatively rare – and that the word “that” might not even be a modifier at all.

If you want official examples of violations of the “touch rule”, check out some of our favorites here, here, or here.


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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 08:49
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Thanks a lot for this, I hope lots of our mistakes will be rectified with this understanding.

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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 30 Jun 2017, 20:58
GMATNinja wrote:

Usage #1: "that” as a pronoun





Hi GMATNinja,

Sometimes that is not followed by complete verb and is used in comparison to specify an entity too.
Any views on this OG eg:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/scientists-h ... 05348.html

Here THAT is very much required since its absence distorts comparison.

When used as demonstrative pronoun, as in your post, it can not be followed by verb / clause.
However more usage in GMAT is of that as relative pronoun must be followed by verb, making THAT ... a dependent clause.
Is this usage correct?

WR,
Arpit
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Originally posted by adkikani on 30 Jun 2017, 20:52.
Last edited by adkikani on 30 Jun 2017, 20:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2017, 06:28
adkikani wrote:
Hi GMATNinja,

Sometimes that is not followed by complete verb and is used in comparison to specify an entity too.
Any views on this OG eg:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/scientists-h ... 05348.html

Here THAT is very much required since its absence distorts comparison.

I'm not 100% sure that I understand your question correctly in this case, but the two uses of "that" in the question in that link are just versions of #1 and #3. Sure, I would agree that you very much need the word "that" to make sense of the comparison(s), but "that" still either subordinates a clause or functions as a demonstrative pronoun, depending on which "that" you're looking at in the OA. Feel free to tag me in that thread if you have more questions about that particular example.

Quote:
When used as demonstrative pronoun, as in your post, it can not be followed by verb / clause.

Sure, you could follow a demonstrative pronoun ("that" or "those") with a verb, as long as the referent and the meaning make sense:

    The noodles sold in Bangkok are tastier than those sold in Denver. --> pronoun "those" is followed by verb "sold", and it makes perfect sense in this case
    The corn grown in Iowa contains higher amounts of starch than that grown in Nova Scotia. --> pronoun "that" is followed by verb "grown"... and we could argue that it sounds a little bit funny, but it's completely fine

Here's an official example: https://gmatclub.com/forum/700-lacking- ... 96705.html

Quote:
However more usage in GMAT is of that as relative pronoun must be followed by verb, making THAT ... a dependent clause.
Is this usage correct?


I'm not quite sure what you mean with this part. I think you're talking about either usage #3 or #4 from the original article? In most of these cases, the relative pronoun would indeed be followed by a verb, but you'd have a subordinate clause, not a dependent clause. But the GMAT isn't going to ask you to define the difference between dependent and subordinate clauses, fortunately! :-D
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 22:17
Hi GMATNinja

Do the pronoun modifier with too behave similar to that / which
meaning modifying preceding clause / noun?

Can you help subtle difference between with vs which as in this OG Q
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 03:34
Hey GMATNinja

I found a GMATPrep question in which "that" is used as a modifier and jumps over the "passive verb" . According to your article, "that" won't jump over verbs to modify some noun. Is this an exception to the rule?

https://gmatclub.com/forum/after-more-t ... 86558.html
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2017, 04:38
pikolo2510

I am not an expert but let me add my two cents.

The reason why THAT jumps over the verb is being tested to modify a new type of jet engine is that this relative pronoun modifier
can not be placed anywhere else in the context of the sentence. I know you might love if THAT
is placed exactly next to subject a new type of jet engine
but then the verb will be too far from subject which is not appreciated by GMAT.

Let me know if this helps!
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 18:45
gmatbusters wrote:
GMATNinja
please clarify whether "that" can be dropped from this sentence...

It is hard work needed for success.

It is hard work that is needed for success.

Please clarify

Hm, I'm not sure if you'll like my answer, since I'm about to change your question a little bit. :)

If I had to choose between those two sentences, I would definitely pick the second one. But even the second one is unnecessarily wordy and indirect, and there's really no need for the "it is" at the beginning of the sentence. I'd prefer the following, and so would the GMAT: "Hard work is needed for success." So no need for the "it is" or the "that" at all.

I'm not sure if I really answered the heart of your question, but I hope that helped a little bit!
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2018, 07:20
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/obituaries/stephen-hawking-dead.html

That work led to a turning point in modern physics, playing itself out in the closing months of 1973 on the walls of his brain when Dr. Hawking set out to apply quantum theory, the weird laws that govern subatomic reality, to black holes.

That calculation, in a thesis published in 1974 in the journal Nature under the title “Black Hole Explosions?,” is hailed by scientists as the first great landmark in the struggle to find a single theory of nature — to connect gravity and quantum mechanics, those warring descriptions of the large and the small, to explain a universe that seems stranger than anybody had thought.

Hi GMATNinja & GMATNinjaTwo, If "that" is the first word of the sentence, it is a pronoun, article or conjunction?
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2018, 04:57
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hazelnut wrote:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/obituaries/stephen-hawking-dead.html

That work led to a turning point in modern physics, playing itself out in the closing months of 1973 on the walls of his brain when Dr. Hawking set out to apply quantum theory, the weird laws that govern subatomic reality, to black holes.

That calculation, in a thesis published in 1974 in the journal Nature under the title “Black Hole Explosions?,” is hailed by scientists as the first great landmark in the struggle to find a single theory of nature — to connect gravity and quantum mechanics, those warring descriptions of the large and the small, to explain a universe that seems stranger than anybody had thought.

Hi GMATNinja & GMATNinjaTwo, If "that" is the first word of the sentence, it is a pronoun, article or conjunction?


In my opinion the opening THAT is an article . GMATNinja , GMATNinjaTwo -- Please confirm .


https://gmatclub.com/forum/after-more-t ... 86558.html
In the below OA , that is being used a modifier and jumps over phrase(prep phrase and verb) "of jet engine is being tested". Can that when used a modifier jump over verb as well ?
After more than four decades of research and development, a new type of jet engine is being tested that could eventually propel aircraft anywhere in the world within two hours or help boost cargoes into space at significantly lower costs than current methods permit.

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert , daagh ,ccooley other experts- please help
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2018, 08:26
hazelnut wrote:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/obituaries/stephen-hawking-dead.html

That work led to a turning point in modern physics, playing itself out in the closing months of 1973 on the walls of his brain when Dr. Hawking set out to apply quantum theory, the weird laws that govern subatomic reality, to black holes.

That calculation, in a thesis published in 1974 in the journal Nature under the title “Black Hole Explosions?,” is hailed by scientists as the first great landmark in the struggle to find a single theory of nature — to connect gravity and quantum mechanics, those warring descriptions of the large and the small, to explain a universe that seems stranger than anybody had thought.

Hi GMATNinja & GMATNinjaTwo, If "that" is the first word of the sentence, it is a pronoun, article or conjunction?

In both cases above, "that" is an article. Basically, "that" is just clarifying that we're talking about "the specific work mentioned earlier" or "that specific calculation mentioned earlier." See usage #2 from the original post.

Skywalker18 wrote:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/after-more-than-four-decades-of-research-and-development-a-new-type-o-86558.html
In the below OA , that is being used a modifier and jumps over phrase(prep phrase and verb) "of jet engine is being tested". Can that when used a modifier jump over verb as well ?
After more than four decades of research and development, a new type of jet engine is being tested that could eventually propel aircraft anywhere in the world within two hours or help boost cargoes into space at significantly lower costs than current methods permit.

You're absolutely right, Skywalker18: this is one of the rare exceptions when a "that" modifier jumps over a verb phrase. I can only think of one similar example on official questions, and I think that one involves a "which." These cases are pretty rare... but I'm admittedly guilty of oversimplification in the original article. :oops:

In this particular case, notice that there really isn't a good way to rearrange the sentence so that the modifier "touches" the jet engine. Here's what happens if we put the modifier first:

    "...a new type of jet engine that could eventually propel aircraft anywhere in the world within two hours or help boost cargoes into space at significantly lower costs than current methods permit is being tested."

Now the verb phrase ("is being tested") appears really, really far away from the subject ("a new type of jet engine"), and it's legitimately kind of confusing now. Because that verb phrase is short, it's clearer to put "is being tested" first, and then insert the (really really long!) noun modifier afterward.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2018, 09:50
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Skywalker18 wrote:
In my opinion the opening THAT is an article . GMATNinja , GMATNinjaTwo -- Please confirm .
I'm not sure why GMATNinja is referring to that as an article. In the examples in which that is said to be an article, that is actually something called a determiner.

Skywalker18 wrote:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/after-more-than-four-decades-of-research-and-development-a-new-type-o-86558.html
In the below OA , that is being used a modifier and jumps over phrase(prep phrase and verb) "of jet engine is being tested". Can that when used a modifier jump over verb as well ?
After more than four decades of research and development, a new type of jet engine is being tested that could eventually propel aircraft anywhere in the world within two hours or help boost cargoes into space at significantly lower costs than current methods permit.
Yes, it can, especially with a that (this process becomes harder with which). Patterns to look out for:

1. There is an additional noun that the relative pronoun could refer to.
In 1974, a message was sent that included basic information about humanity.
In 1974, a message was sent to the Hercules Globular Cluster that included basic information about humanity.

The first sentence is fine. The second is also reasonably good, but check the other options: maybe there is another option that does not open the sentence up to misinterpretation (we're not sure whether it was the message or the Cluster that included the information).

2. If the additional noun takes a different relative pronoun.
An AI has been created that can beat humans at the game of Go.
An AI has been created by scientists that can beat humans at the game of Go.

Here there is no confusion at all, as the that cannot refer to scientists (the GMAT doesn't like using that for people).

3. There is already another that in the construction.
A message that was created by scientists was sent that included basic information about humanity.

This one is not correct.

4. The modifier is non-restrictive.
The Taj Mahal, which was built by order of Shah Jahan...

It will be very hard, if not impossible, to shift the which... to the other side of whichever verb comes next. That's not to say that a which cannot be shifted. It's just not that easy.
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2018, 12:40
AjiteshArun wrote:
I'm not sure why GMATNinja is referring to that as an article. In the examples in which that is said to be an article, that is actually something called a determiner.

That's true! And if we want to get super-geeky about the grammar: "that" and "this" are technically demonstratives, which are a type of determiner. Articles (such as "a" or "an" or "the") are also a type of determiner.

So you're right: technically speaking, "that" is NOT an article. But the reason I call them articles is that I don't see much pedagogical value -- at least for GMAT purposes -- in drawing a distinction among demonstratives and articles and determiners. The function is broadly similar: all of those things introduce nouns. And I find that most of my students have some intuition for what an article is, but their eyeballs generally start dissolving if I talk about demonstratives and determiners. (And that's especially true here in the U.S., where we've mostly abandoned grammar education.) If those students grasp the idea that "that" is just introducing a noun (i.e., it isn't so far off from the function of an article), that's good enough, given the way these things appear on the GMAT.

So I'm absolutely guilty of oversimplifying in an effort to keep non-technical test-takers headed in the right direction. The pedagogical choice I make certainly isn't the right choice for everybody -- some GMAT test-takers (and many of the GMAT verbal experts on this site!) LOVE LOVE LOVE the precise technical details of grammar -- but for folks who struggle with that stuff, I'm OK with fudging some grammar labels. :)
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Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2018, 18:57
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AjiteshArun wrote:
Skywalker18 wrote:
In my opinion the opening THAT is an article . GMATNinja , GMATNinjaTwo -- Please confirm .
I'm not sure why GMATNinja is referring to that as an article. In the examples in which that is said to be an article, that is actually something called a determiner.

Skywalker18 wrote:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/after-more-than-four-decades-of-research-and-development-a-new-type-o-86558.html
In the below OA , that is being used a modifier and jumps over phrase(prep phrase and verb) "of jet engine is being tested". Can that when used a modifier jump over verb as well ?
After more than four decades of research and development, a new type of jet engine is being tested that could eventually propel aircraft anywhere in the world within two hours or help boost cargoes into space at significantly lower costs than current methods permit.
Yes, it can, especially with a that (this process becomes harder with which). Patterns to look out for:

1. There is an additional noun that the relative pronoun could refer to.
In 1974, a message was sent that included basic information about humanity.
In 1974, a message was sent to the Hercules Globular Cluster that included basic information about humanity.

The first sentence is fine. The second is also reasonably good, but check the other options: maybe there is another option that does not open the sentence up to misinterpretation (we're not sure whether it was the message or the Cluster that included the information).

2. If the additional noun takes a different relative pronoun.
An AI has been created that can beat humans at the game of Go.
An AI has been created by scientists that can beat humans at the game of Go.

Here there is no confusion at all, as the that cannot refer to scientists (the GMAT doesn't like using that for people).

3. There is already another that in the construction.
A message that was created by scientists was sent that included basic information about humanity.

This one is not correct.

4. The modifier is non-restrictive.
The Taj Mahal, which was built by order of Shah Jahan...

It will be very hard, if not impossible, to shift the which... to the other side of whichever verb comes next. That's not to say that a which cannot be shifted. It's just not that easy.


1.A message that was created by scientists was sent that included basic information about humanity. -- In this case, both instances of "that" modify message and thus is incorrect?
What about the scenario when we have multiple instances of that in a sentence, though each instance has a different function -- one is used as a subordinator and the other is used as a modifier.
Is such a use acceptable on the GMAT?

2.a. An AI has been created by scientists that can beat humans at the game of Go.
b. An AI that can beat humans at the game of Go has been created by scientists.
c. An AI , which can beat humans at the game of Go , has been created by scientists.
d. An AI has been created by scientists, which can beat humans at the game of Go. - Incorrect as the modified entity AI is too far away from which

Is 2b better than 2a ?
Also in 2c , it seems that meaning of the sentence is changed as which is non-essential modifier -- the part between the commas can be omitted without any change in meaning . So 2c talks about AI in general ?

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , egmat , sayantanc2k , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert , RonPurewal , mikemcgarry -- please enlighten
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Re: Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 18:00
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Skywalker18 wrote:
1.A message that was created by scientists was sent that included basic information about humanity. -- In this case, both instances of "that" modify message and thus is incorrect?
Using two thats with one noun is okay. But here, the sentence is just super awkward. It would be far better (1) to move both thats to one side and put an and between them. Or perhaps (2) take one of the thats out.

(1) A message was sent that was created by scientists and that included basic information about humanity.
(1) A message that was created by scientists and that included basic information about humanity was sent.

(2) A message that was created by scientists included basic information about humanity.

The meaning has changed in the last one. Generally, we should also check whether the option we're about to mark provides the right meaning.

Skywalker18 wrote:
What about the scenario when we have multiple instances of that in a sentence, though each instance has a different function -- one is used as a subordinator and the other is used as a modifier.
Is such a use acceptable on the GMAT?
This is going to depend on the option in front of you. If there is a particular sentence you're thinking about, put it down here so that others can also evaluate it (when taking calls based on the awkwardness of a construction, it's really good to have multiple opinions).

Skywalker18 wrote:
2.a. An AI has been created by scientists that can beat humans at the game of Go.
b. An AI that can beat humans at the game of Go has been created by scientists.

Is 2b better than 2a ?
Yes. The second is much easier to understand and does not need us to assume that that cannot refer to people (a rule that not everyone outside the GMAT follows).

Skywalker18 wrote:
c. An AI , which can beat humans at the game of Go , has been created by scientists.

Also in 2c , it seems that meaning of the sentence is changed as which is non-essential modifier -- the part between the commas can be omitted without any change in meaning . So 2c talks about AI in general ?
Yes. We can read the sentence as an AI has been created by scientists. The actual intention of the sentence is to say that a particular type of AI has been created.
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Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 18:33
hazelnut wrote:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/obituaries/stephen-hawking-dead.html

That work led to a turning point in modern physics, playing itself out in the closing months of 1973 on the walls of his brain when Dr. Hawking set out to apply quantum theory, the weird laws that govern subatomic reality, to black holes.

That calculation, in a thesis published in 1974 in the journal Nature under the title “Black Hole Explosions?,” is hailed by scientists as the first great landmark in the struggle to find a single theory of nature — to connect gravity and quantum mechanics, those warring descriptions of the large and the small, to explain a universe that seems stranger than anybody had thought.

Hi GMATNinja & GMATNinjaTwo, If "that" is the first word of the sentence, it is a pronoun, article or conjunction?


Similar SC from OG : https://gmatclub.com/forum/that-educators-have-not-anticipated-the-impact-of-microcomputer-65988.html#p101342
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Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 07:53
1
Scientists have recently found evidence that black holes—regions of space in which matter is so concentrated and the pull of gravity so powerful that nothing, not even light, can emerge from them—probably exist at the core of nearly all galaxies and that the mass of each black hole is proportional to that of its host galaxy.
Quote:
Scientists have recently found evidence that black holes probably exist at the core of nearly all galaxies and that the mass of each black hole is proportional to that of its host galaxy.

Here "that" starts a subordinate clause.
Quote:
Scientists have recently found evidence that black holes probably exist at the core of nearly all galaxies and that the mass of each black hole is proportional to that of its host galaxy.

Here also "that" starts a subordinate clause.
Quote:
Scientists have recently found evidence that black holes probably exist at the core of nearly all galaxies and that the mass of each black hole is proportional to that of its host galaxy.

Here "that" acts as a pronoun for "the mass"
Quote:
regions of space in which matter is so concentrated and the pull of gravity so powerful that nothing, not even light, can emerge from them

Here "that" starts a subordinate clause.

GMATNinja
Am i making sense here?
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Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2018, 17:37
I have a doubt regarding the "number" of "that". It sometimes addresses a plural entity and sometimes a singular entity.
Case 1 :
Created in 1945 to reduce poverty and stabilize foreign currency markets, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have, according to some critics, continually struggled as they try to meet the expectations of their major shareholders—a group comprising many of the world’s rich nations—while neglecting that of their intended beneficiaries in the developing world
Here "that of" is wrong because there are no singular nouns that it can refer to, hence its wrong here.
Why can't it refer to "expectations" (a plural entity)

Case 2: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a late nineteenth-century feminist, called for urban apartment houses that included child-care facilities and for clustered suburban houses with communal eating and social facilities
Here "that" refers to houses (plural) and is considered correct.

So why is there such a difference in above cases ? Is it because in case 2 "that" acts as a modifier as explained in point 4 (as per the above post)
Case 1 : from OG
Case 2 : from MGMAT
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Experts' Topic of the Week, 6/26/17: WTF is THAT doing in my sentence?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2018, 18:02
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Raksat

Here are my two cents.

Case 1: When that acts as a noun modifier, it can refer to singular and plural nouns.

Case 2: When that acts a pronoun, it can refer only to singular nouns.

Quote:
Created in 1945 to reduce poverty and stabilize foreign currency markets, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have, according to some critics, continually struggled as they try to meet the expectations of their major shareholders—a group comprising many of the world’s rich nations—while neglecting that of their intended beneficiaries in the developing world


Quote:
Here "that of" is wrong because there are no singular nouns that it can refer to, hence its wrong here.
Why can't it refer to "expectations" (a plural entity)


that refers to expectations (since it falls in case 1)

See this example for details.

Hope this helps.
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