'imperative clause' within 'that clause'

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dual light

Senior Member
KOREAN
Hello,
The following is from The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us.

"By the same token, those who used very few negative emotion words did not benefit - perhaps a sign that they were not acknowledging the emotional impact of their topic. The emotional findings, then, suggest that to gain the most benefit from writing about life's traumas, acknowledge the negative but celebrate the positive."

In the second sentence, it seems that the 'that clause' has an imperative clause. I would like to know whether 'that' can be followed by just an imperative clause without a subject. Could I have your kind comment on this?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No, I think this needs a subject: "[...]suggest that [...] one should acknowledge..."

    Alternatively a direct quotation can be used,
    The emotional findings, then, suggest: "to gain the most benefit [...] celebrate the positive."
     
    An imperative contains an implicit 'you' does it not?
    To gain the benefits of school, attend classes. = To gain the benefits of school you should attend classes.
    When in doubt, remain calm; reason it out.
    In case of fire, run for the nearest exit!


    In my opinion the blue sentences, like the second sentence in the OP are just fine.
     

    dual light

    Senior Member
    KOREAN
    No, I think this needs a subject: "[...]suggest that [...] one should acknowledge..."

    Alternatively a direct quotation can be used,
    The emotional findings, then, suggest: "to gain the most benefit [...] celebrate the positive."
    Many thanks for your kind comment.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    An imperative contains an implicit 'you' does it not?
    To gain the benefits of school, attend classes. = To gain the benefits of school you should attend classes.
    When in doubt, remain calm; reason it out.
    In case of fire, run for the nearest exit!


    In my opinion the blue sentences, like the second sentence in the OP are just fine.
    I don't think that's a good comparison.
    Would you write: "The findings suggest that to gain the benefit of school attend classes"?

    These two are shorter and I find it easier to accept that the subject is implied:
    "I suggest that when in doubt remain calm; reason it out"
    "I suggest that in case of fire, run for the nearest exit."
     

    dual light

    Senior Member
    KOREAN
    An imperative contains an implicit 'you' does it not?
    To gain the benefits of school, attend classes. = To gain the benefits of school you should attend classes.
    When in doubt, remain calm; reason it out.
    In case of fire, run for the nearest exit!


    In my opinion the blue sentences, like the second sentence in the OP are just fine.
    Many thanks for your kind comment, bennymix.
    I agree the blue sentences are fine. However, considering that the imperative in the second sentence in the OP is not an independent sentence and that it follows the conjunction 'that', does it need to be revised as suggested by velisarius?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The emotional findings, then, suggest that to gain the most benefit from writing about life's traumas, acknowledge the negative but celebrate the positive." =
    The emotional findings, then, suggest that in order to gain the most benefit from writing about life's traumas, we should acknowledge the negative but celebrate the positive."
     

    dual light

    Senior Member
    KOREAN
    The emotional findings, then, suggest that to gain the most benefit from writing about life's traumas, acknowledge the negative but celebrate the positive." =
    The emotional findings, then, suggest that in order to gain the most benefit from writing about life's traumas, we should acknowledge the negative but celebrate the positive."
    Many thanks, PaulQ.
    According to your comment, it seems that the pattern of "[...] suggest that [adverbial phrase], bare infinitive ..." is correct grammatically. Could I have your confirmation on this?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Yes, I agree: "I suggest that, in order to do the job well, you [should] practice."
     

    dual light

    Senior Member
    KOREAN
    Yes, I agree: "I suggest that, in order to do the job well, you [should] practice."
    Thanks for your further advice. However, it seems that my point was not clear.
    Actually what I intended to ask is something like "I suggest that, in order to do the job well, practice ..." without a subject for 'practice'. Could I have your advice once again?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    My apologies - Yes, "I suggest that, in order to do the job well, practice ..." is idiomatic.
     
    I agree that 'that' has created an infelicity.

    The following is the sort of change needed: The findings suggest the following: to gain the benefit of school, attend classes.

    I can't explain in rules, but it seems that 'that' somehow weakens {or makes awkward} any imperative following. To my child. "I insist that, at 9 pm, go to bed!" {weird} Compare. "This is what I insist; at 9pm, go to bed!" {better}



    Would you write: "The findings suggest that to gain the benefit of school attend classes"?
    Many thanks for your kind comment, bennymix.
    I agree the blue sentences are fine. However, considering that the imperative in the second sentence in the OP is not an independent sentence and that it follows the conjunction 'that', does it need to be revised as suggested by velisarius?
     

    dual light

    Senior Member
    KOREAN
    I agree that 'that' has created an infelicity.

    The following is the sort of change needed: The findings suggest the following: to gain the benefit of school, attend classes.

    I can't explain in rules, but it seems that 'that' somehow weakens {or makes awkward} any imperative following. To my child. "I insist that, at 9 pm, go to bed!" {weird} Compare. "This is what I insist; at 9pm, go to bed!" {better}
    Thanks for your further comment. :)
     
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