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In the sentence below, does the word "that" modify a verb (alleged and argued, respectively)? If so, what is the name for that type of clause? Is it correct to think of them as adverbial clauses? One modifies what the defendant "alleged," and the other modifies what the defendant "argued." Feel free to state any other errors in the sentence.

The defendant alleged that the indictment had been dismissed and argued that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case.

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  • In both cases "that" is being used as a pronoun, serving as the object of the preceding verb.
    – Hot Licks
    May 28 '20 at 18:42
  • No. That at the beginning of a tensed subordinate clause is a complementizer, and the tensed subordinate clause it introduces (optionally in most cases) is called a complement clause. They are noun phrases and are often used as subjects or objects of verbs, or objects of prepositions. Both of the complementizers in the example sentence above introduce object clauses; that the indictment had been dismissed is the object of alleged, and that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case is the object of argued. May 28 '20 at 20:59
  • Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my post and give an answer. Now I understand.
    – MaxLawMan
    May 28 '20 at 23:16
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“that the indictment had been dismissed” and “that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case” are subordinate clauses. They are not adverbial: these clauses act as complements of the verbs allege and argue respectively. The relationship is similar to that between a verb and a direct object (a direct object is a noun phrase that acts directly as the complement of a verb). Compare the use of allege and argue as transitive verbs with a pronoun like what as the complement, as in “what they alleged” and “what they argued”.

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The defendant alleged [that the indictment had been dismissed] and argued [that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case].

In modern grammar "that" belongs to the word class (part of speech) subordinator, primarily because its main job is to introduce subordinate clauses. Its function in the clause is 'marker'.

The two bracketed elements are called content clauses, and their function is not object, but complement of the verbs "alleged" and "argued".

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that the indictment had been dismissed and that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case. are noun clauses. They are the object of, respectively, alleged and argued. They are often called "content clauses" as they tell you what the content of the object is.

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