Jack told Jane that how much he loved her.

bamboo--tw

Senior Member
ROC/Mandarin
Hi,

Jack told Jane that how much he loved her.
Jack told Jane how he loved her.
Jack told Jane how much he loved her.


Do all of the above sound right? Thank you.
 
  • jge0073

    Member
    USA English
    No, they are not all correct.

    "Jack told Jane how he loved her." is acceptable but not good.

    The best is "Jack told Jane how much he loved her."

    "Jack told Jane that how much he loved her"
    is incorrect. If that needs to be used, the sentence would be "Jack told Jane that he loved her."
     

    bamboo--tw

    Senior Member
    ROC/Mandarin
    No, they are not all correct.

    "Jack told Jane how he loved her." is acceptable but not good.

    The best is "Jack told Jane how much he loved her."

    "Jack told Jane that how much he loved her" is incorrect. If that needs to be used, the sentence would be "Jack told Jane that he loved her."
    Thank you jge.
    But could you explain why how much and that can't appear at the same time in the third sample?

    Bamboo--It is sounding like we might be doing your homework....

    ....What do you think the answer is, and why?
    Thank you, mjscott.
    It is not my homework. I just wonder if they all sound right, especially the third one. Why is it wrong as it stands?
     

    jge0073

    Member
    USA English
    That must followed by a proper noun, pronoun, or the implied pronoun you; how much is a adjective phrase in this context. You could say Jack told Jane how much that he loved her.
     

    Moon Palace

    Senior Member
    French
    I think I beg to differ, but I would like another native voice to confirm:
    'Jack told Jane how much that he loved her' :cross: is to me a wrong wording.

    If he tells her about the extent of his love, then he will say 'he told her how much he loved her'
    If he informs her about his love for her, then he will say 'he told her that he loved her'
    But the two can't be mixed as I see it. 'that' to me is a relative pronoun that is used to bring something new in the sentence.

    Hope it helps.
     

    jge0073

    Member
    USA English
    While I see your understanding from the French prospective, I cannot begin to explain how much that I disagree with you.
     

    bamboo--tw

    Senior Member
    ROC/Mandarin
    That must followed by a proper noun, pronoun, or the implied pronoun you; how much is a adjective phrase in this context. You could say Jack told Jane how much that he loved her.
    Thank you jge.
    YOur suggestion sounds perfect to me, but is it interesting that my counterpart doesn't work though they are pretty similar?


    Jack told Jane how much that he loved her.
    Jack told Jane that how much he loved her.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    That must followed by a proper noun, pronoun, or the implied pronoun you; how much is a adjective phrase in this context. You could say Jack told Jane how much that he loved her.
    Seriously?
    What would it mean?

    Jack told Jane how much he loved her.
    Jack told Jane that he loved her.

    These two sentences are good natural English.

    Jack told Jane how he loved her.
    This is possible but somewhat contrived - calling to mind How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    Source

    Jack told Jane how much that he loved her.
    Jack told Jane that how much he loved her.
    I don't think so.
     

    jge0073

    Member
    USA English
    Here are some examples of similar usages.

    This is a transcript of a news broadcast for a national agency in the US:
    So he became a journalist there. And none of his colleagues really knew how much he wanted to race. They new he liked it, but they didn't know how much that he really loved it, that he would actually go behind the wheel to do something like this.

    Major League Baseball press release:
    "I understood guys questioning the trade," Thatcher said. "I found out how much that he was liked in the clubhouse. But that the same time, it happened. I had to step up. I wanted to make everyone in the front office look good regarding the trade and get respect from the guys, so that they knew they could count on me."

    John Wycliffe:
    "He concludes by observing that Satan frequently presents occasions of before the men who are most eminent in holiness and are the likely to be influenced by them But he studieth to blow against us manner of temptations and tribulations by how much that he seeth by the mercy of God we are escaped out of his power..."

    A line from the book Elsewhen by William Patterson.
     

    Moon Palace

    Senior Member
    French
    Well, I only ask to be convinced that it follows some grammar rule.
    The first quotation is indeed extracted from a news agency, but it clearly says 'it is a rush transcript'. see here
    The second is the quotation of a baseball player aged around twenty-five, and google gives no hint for the third.
    Besides, when I type 'how much that', Google comes up with no result. Which does make me skeptical indeed. Or confused. :confused:
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Jack told Jane how much that he loved her.
    The grammatical 'rule' broken is: Don't put 'that' in a sentence where it performs no use. You might as well insert the word pigeon or skyscraper here. (Quotations from baseball players and writers of 14th-century English notwithstanding.)

    Jack told Jane that how much he loved her.
    The grammatical 'rule' broken here is: If you introduce a relative clause with the pronoun 'that', then you must finish the sentence. E.g. Jack told Jane that how much he loved her could not be described in words.

    I don't think so either.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    [...] how much is a adjective phrase in this context.
    It is actually an adverb phrase.

    Jack told Jane how much he loved her.

    The clause in red functions as the direct object of the main clause.
    The adverb phrase how much modifies the verb loved.
    If it were an adjective phrase, it would have to modify a noun or pronoun.

    Regarding Jack told Jane how much that he loved her, I agree with Panj. I would say

    Jack told Jane how much he loved her. (no that)

    or

    Jack told Jane how much it was that he loved her.

    but

    Jack told Jane how much that he loved her.

    sounds strange to me. It could be that those who use it (unintentionally?) elide it was before that.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Bamboo--tw, the rule is that in indirect speech you don't use "that" when you have a question word:

    He asked how he could get to the station. Not: how that/that how
    He asked how much the bread cost. Not: how much that/that how much
    He asked when she would come. Not: when that/that when
    Tell me if you will be there. Not: if that/that if
    Tell me whether you will be there. Not: whether that/that whether
    Tell me where you live. Not: where that/that where
    She told him why she loved him. Not: why that/that why
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    Just to sum up what has been said, those two sentences must be treated differently

    Jack told Jane how much that he loved her
    is not totally impossible but is not standard in contemporary English.

    Jack told Jane that how much he loved her
    simply doesn't exist, whatever the dialect or the register...unless the sentence is incomplete, as ewie suggested.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Similar Googled examples notwithstanding, Jack told Jane how much that he loved her is either ungrammatical or atrocious English.
    Even Elroy's compromise suggestion Jack told Jane how much it was that he loved her sounds like a non-native's literal translation.

    It does not help students of English browsing through this forum to suggest that such contrived sentences are otherwise than contrived.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Even Elroy's compromise suggestion Jack told Jane how much it was that he loved her sounds like a non-native's literal translation.
    As a standalone sentence, it is admittedly wordy in an unnatural way. It was, as you say, a "compromise suggestion" - it is what I would probably use if for some reason I had to use that.

    There are contexts, though, in which using ...it was that... could serve an emphatic purpose:

    No matter how hard he tried, Jack couldn't manage to get Jane to realize just how much it was that he loved her.

    At any rate, one thing's for sure: Jack told Jane how much that he loved her sounds dreadful. It does not work at all for me.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Jack told Jane how much that he loved her
    is not totally impossible but is not standard in contemporary English.

    Just a quick postscript on LV4-26's comment. It's absolutely right that "when that", "how that" etc were perfectly acceptable in earlier versions of English: Shakespeare's song "When that I was and a little tiny boy" is a famous example.

    It could well, therefore, have survived in one or more English dialects, which could be why jge0073 found some contemporary examples. Another reason might simply be that spoken English is far more prone to errors, false starts etc than written English.

    Either way, "question word + that" is, as LV4-26 says, non-standard in contemporary English.

    PS: don't worry about the and (sometimes an' or an) in the Shakespeare quote: it's just a filler.
     
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