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that - definition and synonyms

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adverb, conjunction, determiner, pronoun     that pronunciation in British English
That can be used in the following ways:
as a determiner (followed by a noun): Give me that hammer.
as a demonstrative pronoun (without a following noun): Who gave you that?
as a conjunction (connecting two clauses): I didn’t know that she was married.
as a relative pronoun (forming the subject, object, or complement of a relative clause): It’s a song that my mother taught me.
as an adverb (before an adjective or adverb): Three years? I can’t wait that long.
  1. 1
    the one that is known about
    1. a.
      used when you are referring to someone or something that has already been mentioned

      I know there’s a problem, but I haven’t got time to worry about that now.

      No, I’m not in love with Ken. Where did you get that idea?

      It was a secret – that’s why they never talked about it.

      Why don’t you ask Carmen? That’s who I’d choose.

    2. b.
      spoken used for referring to someone or something that the person you are speaking to already knows about

      The engine’s started making that noise again.

      Why don’t you invite that nice Mr Clifford?

      The children used to love those old Charlie Chaplin films.

      Wasn’t that the boss’s wife you were talking to just now?

  2. 2
    the one that you are looking at spoken
    1. a.
      used for referring to someone or something that is not very near to you but that you can see or point at

      That’s Jerry’s car, over there.

      This is my towel and that’s yours.

      I need these books, but you can borrow any of those.

      Where did that stain on the carpet come from?

      Do you know who that woman in the blue dress is?

    2. b.
      used for referring to something that the person you are talking to is holding or wearing

      I like that jacket. It suits you.

      What’s that you’re holding?

  3. 3
    a past time or event
    1. a.
      used for referring to a period, event, or experience in the past

      There were no telephones in those days.

      Remember that time we all went to the lake?

      He once played for England, but that was a long time ago.

    2. b.
      used for referring to something that has just happened

      That was fun. We must do it again some time.

  4. 4
    used when you are saying which person or thing you are referring to

    All the details were in that letter I sent you last week.

    Those who could not walk were left to die by the roadside.

    that of:

    The voice was that of an elderly woman.

  5. 5
    British spoken used for asking who someone is when you are telephoning them

    Hello, is that Robert Hoffman? My name is Richard Anderson.

    Synonyms and related words
  6. 6
     strong     pronunciation in British English
/ðæt/ weak     pronunciation in British English
/ðət/ used for introducing a statement, idea, fact, or reason
    1. a.
      used for introducing what someone says, thinks, believes etc

      Dawkins believes that his sister was murdered.

      There had been some suggestion that I should resign.

    2. b.
      used for introducing a clause stating a fact

      We cannot ignore the fact that there is a shortage of qualified nurses.

      That no one remembered her birthday left Marta very depressed.

      it is surprising/interesting/important that:

      It was surprising that no one had warned them of the danger.

    3. c.
      used when explaining why someone feels sad, angry, happy etc

      I’m sorry that I missed the first meeting.

      I am absolutely delighted that we achieved what we set out to do.

  7. 7
     strong     pronunciation in British English
/ðæt/ weak     pronunciation in British English
/ðət/ used instead of ‘which’, ‘who’, or ‘whom’
    1. a.
      used for introducing a clause that shows which person or thing you are talking about, or that gives more information about a specific person or thing

      We haven’t met the people that live next door.

      Think of all the things that have happened to us since we moved here.

      We have built a structure that should last for hundreds of years.

      I want a car that’s reliable.

    2. b.
      used after a superlative for stating in what situation the superlative is true

      It was the worst winter that anyone could remember.

      Davis is the most brilliant man that I’ve ever worked with.

    3. c.
      used after a word such as ‘all’, ‘everything’, ‘anyone’, or ‘none’

      There was no one that I could ask for help.

      Is there anything else that you want to ask?

  8. 8
     strong     pronunciation in British English
/ðæt/ weak     pronunciation in British English
/ðət/ used after ‘so’ or ‘such’ to show the result of something

    It was so cold that the sea froze in some places.

    In the morning he had such a headache that he could not even drink his coffee.

  9. 9
    spoken used when you use your hands to show how big something is or how much of it there is

    I need a piece of rope about that long.

    There was only that much left in the bottle.

  10. 10
    [usually in negatives or questions] mainly spoken to a very great degree

    There’s no need to rush around – it isn’t that urgent.

    I know some people left before the end, but was it really that bad?

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to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

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the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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