For example, if I want to pause in speech, which way is better:

I {a very long adverb phrase} realized | that English is so useful but not easy to master.


I {a very long adverb phrase} realized that | English is so useful but not easy to master.

  • Note that the first so shouldn't be there.
    – SLaks
    Mar 27, 2011 at 20:16

6 Answers 6


Many other people have answered, there is no need to pause in that sentence, either before or after the word that, and they are correct.

However, you may of course want to pause in that sentence - perhaps for emphasis, or to catch your breath, or simply to let your listener catch up...

In that case, you should pause before the "that": the word "that" introducing a subordinate clause belongs with the clause it introduces:

I recently realized | that English is so useful but not easy to master.

Putting the pause after "that" would sound a little strange (though often people do pause at that point, usually when they're trying to think of what to say next :)


There is no need for a pause in that sentence.

  • 1
    Come to that, there is no need for that in that sentence. But do I think very would be more common than so in this utterance. Mar 27, 2011 at 17:44
  • @FumbleFingers: I would counter that that actually does a pretty good job in this sentence. Sure, you could remove it and still be correct. Personally, though, I'd keep it. Sounds more natural that way, to me at least.
    – Jimi Oke
    Mar 28, 2011 at 0:10
  • @Jimi Oke: well you're certainly correct now OP's sentence has been edited to include a very long adverb phrase. Given that, I'd keep the word. Except in a declamatory delivery (heartfelt speech, maybe), where I might replace the word by an exagerated pause before the 'final punchline'. Apr 2, 2011 at 22:59

English conjunctions are associated with what follows them. If you're going to pause next to such words as that, and, and or, you should pause before rather than after. That said, as other answers mention, there is no real need for a pause in this sentence, except perhaps if you were speaking slowly and thoughtfully.


In speech, I would generally say neither as long as you're using "that". In normal speech I don't think there would be an appreciable pause neither before nor after the word "that" in such a construction.

If you omit the word "that", then it would be appropriate to pause (briefly) in the place where the word was omitted.


The whole point of this issue really lies on the way that the native speakers would actually speak, which is to connect “that” and “subordinate clause ”. As in the example mentioned in the question, it is easy for non-native English speakers to connect the verb and "that" together, and then follows the subordinate clause (I realise that | learning English is not an easy thing to do).

It is fine if this rule can be applied to all examples in object clauses but you will soon find the structure of “subject + copula + adjective ” quite wired if you do that way. For example, I am glad that | Peter is married. If there is ever a case that the word “that” is connected with the main clause, there is still a minimal pause that can be hardly detected between them if the speaker doesn’t know what to say the next, for instance.


No; if you pause, you should have a comma. However, a comma would not be appropriate in this sentence, as it would be dividing the verb and the object unnecessarily.

"I realized, that...." -- awkward

"I realized that, English..." again, awkward.

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