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I recently encountered a grammar problem as follows:

"I hope it'll rain tomorrow."

"From ( ) you've just said, maybe you don't want to go on the picnic."

i. that

ii. what

iii. where

iv. which

Well, the answer is of course supposed to be (ii). However, one student thought it was (i). He gives this sentence:

From that that you've just said...

He claims that the first "that" indicates the entire sentence starting "I hope ..." and the second one works as a relative pronoun here. Omitting the second one, he got

From that you've just said...

What do you think about his claim? Both he and I know this sentence sounds unnatural, but at least from the grammatical viewpoint, we have no idea why it's not correct.

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  • Sorry to point this out but there is no omission of that in ii). Only in the first.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 19:56

2 Answers 2

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I can see why that would work here. I think what is a better choice.

Like, "From all that you've just said"

If you speak it aloud you that would work, in my opinion.

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There is apparently nothing wrong grammatically with this combination but it must be rare. I could find but one example of "that (that)" preceded by "from" in which the second "that" is a relative.

(In the Senate of the United States, June 4, 1872...: Mr. ... - 1872) A . Yes , sir ; but that is a different statement from that you made before.

On the basis of the alternatives that a rather descriptive grammar considers usual "that that" does not occur. (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Quirk et al.)

That which upsets me most is his manner.
or
What upsets me most is his manner.

  • That that upsets me most is his manner.

Moreover, "that which" is considered to be formal; it is rare and generally replaced by "what" (CoGEL).

You could use "that which", but it would sound formal.

  • From that which you've just said...
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  • I'd say CGEL's failing even to mention 'That upsets me [the] most' meaning 'What upsets me [the] most' is better claimed to indicate unacceptability than a single example of a usage is to indicate acceptability. Note also that 'From { } you've just said' is a different construction from '[This] is a different statement from {that} you made before. In the latter, 'that' acceptably references a specific statement , whereas { } above needs a more general {what} (or a more robust nominal such as [from] {your recent diatribe/communication}. Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 17:21
  • @EdwinAshworth I had noticed that "from" didn't enter into the same syntactic combination; I noticed further that there was no equivalence between "that" and "what" but couldn't figure out the reason.
    – LPH
    Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 17:45

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