Nearby words

  1. thare,
  2. tharp,
  3. tharp, twyla,
  4. tharsis,
  5. thasos,
  6. that ain't hay,
  7. that does it,
  8. that is,
  9. that makes two of us,
  10. that will do

Idioms

Origin of that

before 900; Middle English; Old English thæt (pronoun, adj., adv. and conjunction), orig., neuter of se the; cognate with Dutch dat, German das(s), Old Norse that, Greek tó, Sanskrit tad

Can be confusedthat which (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

4. When that introduces a relative clause, the clause is usually restrictive; that is, essential to the complete meaning of the sentence because it restricts or specifies the noun or pronoun it modifies. In the sentence The keys that I lost last month have been found, it is clear that keys referred to are a particular set. Without the that clause, the sentence The keys have been found would be vague and probably puzzling. That is used to refer to animate and inanimate nouns and thus can substitute in most uses for who ( m ) and which: Many of the workers that (or who ) built the pyramids died while working. The negotiator made an offer that (or which ) was very attractive to the union. Experienced writers choose among these forms not only on the basis of grammar and the kind of noun referred to but also on the basis of sound of the sentence and their own personal preference.
The relative pronoun that is sometimes omitted. Its omission as a subject is usually considered nonstandard, but the construction is heard occasionally even from educated speakers: A fellow ( that ) lives near here takes people rafting. Most often it is as an object that the relative pronoun is omitted. The omission almost always occurs when the dependent clause begins with a personal pronoun or a proper name: The mechanic ( that ) we take our car to is very competent. The films ( that ) Chaplin made have become classics. The omission of the relative pronoun as in the two preceding examples is standard in all varieties of speech and writing.
13. The conjunction that, which introduces a noun clause, is, like the relative pronoun that, sometimes omitted, often after verbs of thinking, saying, believing, etc.: She said ( that ) they would come in separate cars. He dismissed the idea ( that ) he was being followed. As with the omission of the relative pronoun, the omission of the conjunction almost always occurs when the dependent clause begins with a personal pronoun or with a proper name. This omission of the conjunction that occurs most frequently in informal speech and writing, but it is a stylistic option often chosen in more formal speech and writing.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for that is

Word Origin for that

Old English thæt; related to Old Frisian thet, Old Norse, Old Saxon that, Old High German daz, Greek to, Latin istud, Sanskrit tad

usage

Precise stylists maintain a distinction between that and which : that is used as a relative pronoun in restrictive clauses and which in nonrestrictive clauses. In the book that is on the table is mine, the clause that is on the table is used to distinguish one particular book (the one on the table) from another or others (which may be anywhere, but not on the table). In the book, which is on the table, is mine, the which clause is merely descriptive or incidental. The more formal the level of language, the more important it is to preserve the distinction between the two relative pronouns; but in informal or colloquial usage, the words are often used interchangeably

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for that is

that

pron.

Old English þæt, neuter singular of the demonstrative pronoun and adjective (corresponding to masc. se, fem. seo), from Proto-Germanic *that, from PIE *tod-, extended form of demonstrative pronomial base *to- (cf. Sanskrit ta-, Lithuanian and Old Church Slavonic to, Greek to "the," Latin talis "such"). Cf. the.

Emerged c.1200 as a demonstrative adjective with the breakdown of the Old English grammatical gender system, perhaps by influence of French and Latin, which had demonstrative adjectives (Old English did not). Slang that way "in love" first recorded 1929. That-a-way is recorded from 1839. "Take that!" said while delivering a blow, is recorded from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with that is

that is

Also, that is to say. To explain more clearly, in other words, as in It's on the first floor, that is, at street level, or We're coming next month, that is to say, in November. [Early 1600s] Also see under that's.

that

In addition to the idioms beginning with that

  • that ain't hay
  • that does it
  • that is
  • that makes two of us
  • that will do

also see:

  • all's well that ends well
  • all that
  • all that glitters is not gold
  • and all (that)
  • as far as that goes
  • at that point
  • at this (that) rate
  • at this (that) stage
  • be that as it may
  • bite the hand that feeds you
  • cross a (that) bridge
  • for that matter
  • game that two can play
  • how about that
  • how does that grab you
  • how's that
  • in order (that)
  • in that
  • is that a fact
  • it (that) figures
  • just like that
  • just the (that's the) ticket
  • last straw (that breaks)
  • like that
  • look like the cat that ate the canary
  • not all that
  • not built that way
  • now that
  • on condition that
  • on the chance (that)
  • powers that be
  • put that in your pipe
  • seeing that
  • ships that pass in the night
  • so that
  • suffice it to say that
  • tear (that tears) it
  • this and that
  • to that effect
  • when it comes to (that)
  • would that
  • you can say that again
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.