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In a song called "Find a Way to Play Together", from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, there are two lines:

Each one us brings our own special gifts,
That makes us who we are

My question is, why using "makes" here in the second line? Why not "...gifts that make ..."?

Thanks.

Link to the lyrics: https://pbskids.org/daniel/art-and-songs/songs/playing-together

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  • Because Daniel Tiger does not use perfect English syntax.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 14, 2021 at 2:40
  • That refers to the whole sentence/thought. As one cleft sentence it's That each one of us brings our own special gifts makes us who we are.
    – DjinTonic
    Dec 14, 2021 at 2:54
  • @DjinTonic, Thanks for the comment. It makes sense. And I learned a new term "cleft sentence".
    – Timathon
    Dec 14, 2021 at 3:04
  • Possibly because "that" is not intended to be a subordinator introducing a relative clause, but a noun phrase serving as a pro-form that is anaphoric to the whole of the preceding sentence.
    – BillJ
    Dec 14, 2021 at 7:55

1 Answer 1

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It could be possible that Daniel Tiger is referring to "Each one us brings our own special gifts" as a singular object. In doing so, the "that" refers to something that is not plural, and "makes" is used instead of make.

So, instead of saying that gifts "make us who we are", he is saying that this event "makes us who we are".

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  • thanks for the answer. It makes sense to me.
    – Timathon
    Dec 14, 2021 at 3:02
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    In other words, "that" is not a subordinator introducing a relative clause, but a noun phrase functioning as a pro-form referring to the entire preceding sentence.
    – BillJ
    Dec 14, 2021 at 8:00
  • @BillJ, Thanks for the explanation.
    – Timathon
    Dec 14, 2021 at 8:52

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