that you understand, right?

Ptak

Senior Member
Rußland
Hello there,

Listen, people, can the sentence "that you understand, right?" really be correct?
In a context like this:
Hurry up. Time is money - that you understand, right?

Does "that you understand, right?" really mean the same as "you do understand it, don't you?"
I, personally, find the word order quite awkward and non-English, but someone tald me that an American native tald him it's ok.

Thanks.
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello Ptak. I'm sure a lot of people (including me) would describe it as 'somewhat inelegant' but I can see nothing wrong with it under the 'rules' of Very Informal English Conversation. It's a pet theory of mine that Word Order in English is a lot more flexible in practice than grammar books would have us believe: it doesn't strike me as at all unusual to see the object of the sentence being placed before the verb here for extra-extra-emphasis:)
     
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    WestSideGal

    Senior Member
    English, US
    Hello there,

    Listen, people, can the sentence "that you understand, right?" really be correct?
    In a context like this:
    Hurry up. Time is money - that you understand, right?

    Does "that you understand, right?" really mean the same as "you do understand it, don't you?"
    I, personally, find the word order quite awkward and non-English, but someone tald me that an American native tald him it's ok.

    Thanks.

    That in this context is referring to the concept of "time is money". So in spoken form, or as a part of a dialogue in a book/play, I think would be fine.

    In formal writing, I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that was a clear or well-constructed sentence.

    "Hurry up! Time is money - that (said with emphasis) you understand, right?"

    "Time is money" is an idea you clearly understand, right?

    Make sense?
     

    Wynn Mathieson

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    It's OK-ish... but only if the "that" is stressed in a contrastive way.

    Einstein's first theory of relativity you find hard to grasp. OK.
    You fail to comprehend why anyone would want to spend all day here. Fair enough.
    But...
    Time is money - that you understand, right?

    Wynn
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Yes, I agree with WSG and WM: if I was writing this it would look like this:

    Hurry up. Time is money - that you understand, right?
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    For me, it works only if you modify the expression (through the use of punctuation) to indicate that you are referring to the antecedent concept (for example, that time is money). Thus: "That, you understand, right?"

    EDIT: I accept that italicisation does the same job.
     

    Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Yes, this isn't done too often in English. Technically, I don't think there's anything wrong and you'd use these types of sentences when you want to emphasize the direct/indirect object.

    The "normal" way to say it is: You understand that, right?
    "That", which is the direct object is brought to the front in order to emphasize it.

    Another example:
    She gave the book to the man.
    Depending on what you wanted to emphasize, you could bring either the direct object (the book) or the indirect object (to the man) to the front of the sentence.
    The book, she gave to the man. (The BOOK, as opposed to any other object)
    To the man, she gave the book. (To the MAN, as opposed to anyone else)
    Unless you really wanted to emphasize them, both sentences are slightly awkward, but should be technically acceptable.
     

    Wynn Mathieson

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    For me, it works only if you modify the expression (through the use of punctuation) to indicate that you are referring to the antecedent concept (for example, that time is money). Thus: "That, you understand, right?"

    EDIT: I accept that italicisation does the same job.

    Sorry, el escoces, but that I don't accept. :)

    "That, you understand, right?" means
    (you do understand that what I'm referring to is that?)

    whereas

    "That you understand, right?" means (you do understand that fact?)

    Wynn
     
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    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The book, she gave to the man. (The BOOK, as opposed to any other object)
    To the man, she gave the book. (To the MAN, as opposed to anyone else)

    And note that in these cases, Erebos uses a comma to separate the direct/indirect object from the principal clause, in the same way as I was proposing for "that".
     

    gasman

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    "To me, this is unintelligible."

    Why? The sentence is emphatic, terse, and very straightforward.
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    "To me, this is unintelligible."

    Why? The sentence is emphatic, terse, and very straightforward.

    I absolutely disagree. Ask a child, or a non-native speaker, to read that and tell you what it means, and I don't think they could. You know to read the emphasis into it, but there is nothing to instruct you to do so.
     

    gasman

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    I have no problem writing something that a child or a non-native speaker might not be able to interpret. Hopefully it will demonstrate to such readers that there can be more than simple language used. These are not Cat in the Hat sites.
     

    e-dre

    New Member
    Lithuanian
    Though, lexicon, used in this sentence is English, syntax is inadequate. No, it is not English (probably some sort of common creole dialect, used in colloquial speech).
     
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