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In this sentence:

Its shape resembles that of a kangaroo’s hind foot.

What part of speech would that be?

  • Why is this community? – user3306356 May 21 '14 at 0:53
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    In this case, that means 'the shape', as in Its shape resembles the shape of a kangaroo's hind foot. Demonstratives, like any other pronoun, often refer to an entire noun phrase. The problem here is distinguishing the pronoun that from the complementizer that. Luckily, this that is modified by a prepositional phrase, so it pretty much hasta be a noun phrase. – John Lawler May 21 '14 at 1:13
  • What part of speech would what be? ;) – augurar May 21 '14 at 1:17
  • In what sentence? Like that -- and all other grammar words -- what has a number or uses. – John Lawler May 21 '14 at 1:40
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Here "that" stands for "the shape" (of a kangaroo's hind foot). Here the demonstratve adjective is used as a pronoun (without a following noun) and it has the sense of a determinative pronoun. English has no special words for determinatives, it uses as substitute the demonstratives or that which /what, the one who, people who, anyone who, he who, they who, whoever, whatever.

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In that sentence, that would be a relative pronoun.

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