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Discussion in 'English Only' started by yashar, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. yashar Senior Member

    Please consider the two text blow.

    Could you please tell me what are the aims of that PhD project?
    Could you please tell me that what are the aims of that PhD project?

    Which one is correct? I feel that both of them are correct. However, I don't know why!
    Is there a general rule for the deletion of "that".

    Thank you
  2. heypresto

    heypresto Senior Member

    South East England
    English - England
    Neither of them are correct, I'm afraid.

    The first version would sound far more natural if you put the 'are' at the end. "Could you please tell me what the aims of that PhD project are?"

    The second version doesn't require the 'that'. This isn't due to any rules about deleting it - it's simply that the sentence doesn't require it. We don't choose to delete it - it isn't there to be deleted.

    I hope this makes sense . . .
  3. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I agree with Heypresto that neither of your sentences is correct.

    Heypresto's suggestions are helpful, but in AE we'd likely make it even shorter and more direct (while keeping the comparatively formal introductory language): Could you please tell me the aims of that Ph.D. project?

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