I am always confused about what type of subordinate clause "that" can connect. So there are two sentence below:

  1. So far the torpedo has proved a damp squib, with observers arguing that Europe has not gained any leverage to press its demands.

  2. Afflictions has take place in Syrian on June 3th that his job to negotiate political settlement and establish transitional governing body would be pointless.

I am curious what the sub-clause type after "that" for above two sentences? Because each main clause doesn't miss any grammatical ingredient, so I thought these that-clause are appositive clause.

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    I agree with Cerberus, your second sentence isn't right. For it to be grammatical, it'd need to be something like Afflictions have taken place in Syria such that his job to negotiate a political settlement and establish a transitional governing body would be pointless, although it's still a bit odd sounding (maybe you mean actions rather than afflictions?). Also, you can still use June 3rd, but to do so you need to change the verb from have taken to took. Aug 28, 2014 at 2:53
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    Note that the second sentence is simply a poor transcription of "No successor has been named to replace the elder statesman, who recently said that if elections take place in Syria on June 3, his job — to negotiate a political settlement and establish a transitional governing body — would be pointless" from this article.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 28, 2014 at 3:09
  • @DanBron thank you for providing the original article. I found the second poor sentence from a English listening training forum...
    – JoJo
    Aug 28, 2014 at 4:29
  • @DanBron nice find! Aug 28, 2014 at 4:30
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    See also: English Language Learners Good Luck.
    – Kris
    Aug 28, 2014 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


The first that clause is an object clause, because it functions as the object of arguing. It is not appositive, because it is simply an object on its own.

The second example is not written in proper English; I would dismiss it.

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