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But few realize that we are all adversely affected by a pollutant so common that it tends to be overlooked.

What is the grammatical name and function of the bolded part?

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closed as off-topic by Janus Bahs Jacquet, Christi, Hellion, choster, user49727 Nov 28 '13 at 17:20

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1 Answer

It's a subordinate clause.

In linguistics, a dependent clause (or a subordinate clause) is a clause that augments an independent clause with additional information, but which cannot stand alone as a sentence. Dependent clauses either modify the independent clause of a sentence or serve as a component of it.

That that after realize is a dead giveaway. In fact it's called a "subordinating that". The Wikipedia article mentions a couple more of such "dependent words".

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+1 Also, it's a noun clause, a dependent clause serving as a noun, the direct object of the verb realize. –  bib Nov 27 '13 at 12:51
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