that (so that, because)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Gavril, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    In English, the word that can introduce a noun clause, such as

    He told me that he'd be a few minutes late.

    In earlier stages of English, the word that could also be used to introduce a purpose clause (indicating the intention behind an action):

    He ran quickly, that his pursuers might not overtake him.

    (In modern-day English, we'd probably use so that or a similar word/phrase in this sentence.)

    Many languages show a similar versatility in the word or phrase corresponding to English that. For example,

    Spanish que

    Noun clause: Me dijó que llegaría unos minutos tarde. "He told me that he'd be a few minutes late."

    Purpose clause: Corría a toda prisa, que sus perseguidores no lo alcanzaran. "He ran as quickly as he could, so that his pursuers would not overtake him." (In modern-day Spanish, I think it's more common to use the phrase para que to mean "so that".)

    Introducing a reason/cause: Quieto, que te estoy cortando el pelo. "Sit still, [because] I'm trying to cut your hair."

    Finnish että

    Noun clause: Hän sanoi minulle, että myöhästyisi muutamia minuutteja. "He told me that he'd be a few minutes late."

    Purpose: Hän juoksi kaikin voimin, että takaa-ajajat ei saisivat häntä kiinni. "He ran with all his might, so that the pursuers would not catch up with him."

    (A less ambiguous alternative to että in the second sentence would be jotta "so that".)

    In your language (or in another language you're familiar with), can the word/phrase equivalent to English that be used to introduce many kinds of clauses (noun clauses, purpose clauses, etc.)?
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  2. rayloom

    rayloom Senior Member

    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    In Arabic we have 'an and 'anna.
    'an introduces a subjunctive clause (so to speak).
    'anna introduces a declarative clause.

    In French, like Spanish, they have que, which is used to introduce both subjunctive and declarative clauses.
    Je voudrais que tu le prennes. (subjunctive)
    Je sais que tu as etudié.
  3. ancalimon Senior Member

    In Turkish we have "diye"

    He ran quickly, that his pursuers might not overtake him.
    Onu kovalayanlar yakalayamasın diye hızlı koştu.

    Here "diye" means "so that". But we can not use this here:

    He told me that he'd be a few minutes late.
    Bana bir kaç dakika gecikeceğini söyledi.

    But we can use this:
    Bana, "bir kaç dakika gecikeceğim" diye bir şey dedi. (here diye means "said", "called", "named", "the". But "the" is linked with "he'd be a few minutes late")
    He told to me the thing called: "I will be a few minutes late". (actually I can't translate this sentence properly to English)
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  4. Rallino Moderatoúrkos


    We can build those sentences with the relative clause connector -ki as well.

    He ran quickly, so that his pursuers might not overtake him.
    Hızlı koştu, ki onu kovalayanlar yakalayamasın.

    He told me that he'd be a few minutes late.
    Bana dedi ki, birkaç dakika gecikecekmiş.

    They don't sound as natural perhaps, but it's a possible alternative.
  5. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    As you already talked about Spanish I'll talk about Japanese. Japanese is a language that doesn't have connectors to introduce clauses, therefore 'that' doesn't exist as such, it exists, however, when it comes to verbs that tell something, reported speech, such as hear, ask, say, etc.

    For instance:

    He told me that he is hungry= 彼はお腹がすいた私に言った。 kare wa onaka ga suita to watashi ni itta.

    He ran quickly, so that his pursuers would not overtake him. 追跡者に追い越されないために彼が速く走っていた。 tsuisekisha ni oikosarenai tameni, kare ga hayaku hashitteita.

    The word tameni can be rendered as 'in order to/due to', however if I wanted to translate your example about the hair you'd use 'because':

    Stay still, (because) I'm trying to cut your hair. じっとしてなさい、髪を切っているからjittoshite nasai, kami wo kitteiru kara.
  6. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Hi Gavril, Greek uses:

    «Ώστε» ['oste] which is an ancient conjunction, «ὥστε» 'hōstĕ --> so as, so that; it expresses the actual or intended result of the action in the principal clause; compound, Classical relative adv. «ὡς» hōs --> as (PIE root *yó/*yós --> pron. who) + coordinating conj. «τε» tĕ --> enclitic and (PIE root *-kʷe, enclitic and)

    E.g. "He ran with all his might, so that he would evade his pursuers"
    «Έτρεξε με όλη του τη δύναμη ώστε να ξεφύγει απ'τους διώκτες του»
    ['etrekse me 'oli tu ti 'ðinami 'oste na kse'fiʝi aptus ði'oktes tu]

    «Ότι ['oti] which again is an ancient conjunction, «ὅτι» 'hŏtĭ and «ὅττι» 'hŏttĭ --> that; it introduces an objective clause; it derives from the neuter form of the relative pronoun «ὅστις, ἥτις, ὅ,τι» 'hŏstis (masc.), 'hētis (fem.), 'hŏ,tĭ (neut.) --> who (PIE root *yós, *yā, *yód (masc. fem. neut.) --> who, which, that). Note that the relative pron. «ὅ,τι» since Classical times was thought of as two distinct words «ὅ» & «τὶ» and thus it was written «Ο ΤΙ» in order to make a distinction between the pronoun and the cognate conjunction «ΟΤΙ». In Byzantine (and since then, in Modern) Greek, the distinction was made with the introduction of the «ὑποδιαστολή» hŭpŏdiastŏ'lē (comma): «Ὅτι» / «ὅ,τι».

    E.g. "S/he told me that s/he'll be a little late"
    «Μου είπε ότι θ'αργήσει λίγο»
    [mu 'ipe 'oti θar'ʝisi 'liɣo]

    It must be noted though, that the above phrases in the vernacular, can be expressed by using alternative structure, i.e. «γιά να» [ʝa na] instead of «ώστε», «πως» [pos] instead of «ότι» etc. But these are colloquialisms
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  7. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hi Apmoy,

    Does Modern Greek still make the distinction between ὥστε (result clause) and ὅπως / να (purpose clause)?

    For ex., how would "so that" be translated in the sentence below?

    "He blew out the candle so that there would still be wax left the following night."
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  8. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Hi Gavril,
    No, I'm afraid in MG the use of «ὄπως» as a final conjunction similar to «ἵνα» is obsolete. Even in formal speech it sounds too archaic.
    In the modern language «όπως» ['opos] is either,
    a) an adverb of manner which introduces a relative subordinate clause,
    (e.g. "This word is spelt «όπως» it sounds")
    b) an adverb of manner which introduces a subordinate clause of comparison,
    (e.g. "He's a tall guy, «όπως» his father")
    c) an adverb of time introducing concessive clause
    (e.g. "«Όπως» he was walking home, he saw his long lost friend")

    However, there's still one fossilized use of «όπως» as a final conjunction, when it introduces a clause of admonition or command (I'll give an example with the whole phrase in Katharevousa Greek as it's read in signs or posters):
    «Παρακαλεῖσθε ὄπως μὴν καπνίζετε»
    [paraka'lisθe 'opos min ka'pnizete]
    "Please do not smoke"
    It's learned language still in use.
    «Ἵνα» is long forgotten.
  9. arielipi Senior Member

    in hebrew we have many prefixes and words that correspond with 'that', each is for its own purpose; they are all conjunctions.
    In hebrew, these words initiate a dependent clause (dont know how many types english has, but hebrew divides them to 5, one of them (descriptive clause) is divided to the many types of descriptions(such as place, time etc).
    The words themselves deliver a certain meaning(such as, deflecting an idae, adding,explaining) so by knowing the word you know what to expect.
    Also, some are connectors;
    They are interchangeable within their own type, and sometimes and strictly addable.
  10. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    In Russian there is no such thing. In the simplest case, 'that' is «что», 'so that' is «чтобы» (the clause of purpose), and there are lots of conjunctions to introduce reason clauses, for example, «потому что».
    Thanks, arielipi, what you told is really interesting for me, but could you please explain this part? Thank you. :)
  11. arielipi Senior Member

    These are all for instance
    Lets say you describe time - so you have several words for that, bizman she,cshe, and more; so it doesnt matter if you use bizman she or cshe - thats the interchangeable within their own type, but you cant replace it with a word for place - be.

    Addable, meaning you can take from two types and saying them one after the other(in certain order - not swappable), so lets say time+place = cshehayinu be = when we were at/in.

    About the connectors, that is you cant correctly say the connected sentence without the connector word(=prefix).
    Sentence a...... connector+sentence b; both can be said separately, but when coming together one must be connected to the other - dependent clause :)
  12. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    Thank you!

    By the way, here a were interesting question arises, namely what languages and how can omit the word 'that' altogether. For English it's very common even if the main clause introduces a named thing to be described in the dependent clause. In Russian it's only possible if the main clause refers to the whole topic that takes place in the dependent clause, e.g. indirect speech, but even in such case the word «что» usually is not omitted. In Hebrew, as far as I understand, it depends on the exact prefix to use; I hope I understand it correctly. :)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  13. arielipi Senior Member

    Technically, we could omit all of those, but it would make the language much less comfortable; just like you have commas, dots. etc that guide you how to read a sentence, these help you connect sentences,actions to one another.

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