Sentence starting with “that”

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shokubutsu
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Sentence starting with “that”

Post by shokubutsu » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:18 pm

Does the following sentence make sense?

“That he came without the parcel I was singularly pleased.”

It’s a deliberate stylistic choice on my part to foreground the fact that he came without the parcel, but I’m not sure if it’s grammatically correct. Should there perhaps be a comma in between? (“That he came without the parcel, I was singularly pleased.”)

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Firefox
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Re: Sentence starting with “that”

Post by Firefox » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:33 am

As you have it, no, not possible. But these and other variations are:

That he came without the parcel pleased me greatly. :ok:
That he came without the parcel was singularly pleasing. :ok:

"That he came without the parcel" means "The fact that he came without the parcel" and is the subject of the sentence. The word "I" introduces a second subject without a conjunction and leaving no predicate for the first subject.

If you really want to stretch it stylistically, I suppose it's possible but you'd better hope modern readers understand it. It's the sort of thing that could work in a song or poem, but is unusual in modern text.

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