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I struggle with this one too.

Found this guide online:

Omitting That

The word that is used as a conjunction to connect a subordinate clause to a preceding verb. In this construction that is sometimes called the "expletive that." Indeed, the word is often omitted to good effect, but the very fact of easy omission causes some editors to take out the red pen and strike out the conjunction that wherever it appears. In the following sentences, we can happily omit the that (or keep it, depending on how the sentence sounds to us):

Isabel knew [that] she was about to be fired.
She definitely felt [that] her fellow employees hadn't supported her.
I hope [that] she doesn't blame me.

Sometimes omitting the that creates a break in the flow of a sentence, a break that can be adequately bridged with the use of a comma:

The problem is, that production in her department has dropped.
Remember, that we didn't have these problems before she started working here.

As a general rule, if the sentence feels just as good without the that, if no ambiguity results from its omission, if the sentence is more efficient or elegant without it, then we can safely omit the that. Theodore Bernstein lists three conditions in which we should maintain the conjunction that:

When a time element intervenes between the verb and the clause: "The boss said yesterday that production in this department was down fifty percent." (Notice the position of "yesterday.")
When the verb of the clause is long delayed: "Our annual report revealed that some losses sustained by this department in the third quarter of last year were worse than previously thought." (Notice the distance between the subject "losses" and its verb, "were.")
When a second that can clear up who said or did what: "The CEO said that Isabel's department was slacking off and that production dropped precipitously in the fourth quarter." (Did the CEO say that production dropped or was the drop a result of what he said about Isabel's department? The second that makes the sentence clear.)

Authority for this section: Dos, Don'ts & Maybes of English Usage by Theodore Bernstein. Gramercy Books: New York. 1999. p. 217. Examples our own.

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Speaking of grammar, I ran into this the other day while writing.  I wanted to write something like:

"That hot tub is supposed to seat ten, but there's fifteen of us here.  Do you think we can all fit?"

At first glance, this sounds correct, but if you look at the contraction "there's", something is off.  "There's" is a contraction of "there is" which is singular.  But in this situation, we have a plural.  If written without the contraction, it would be "but there are fifteen of us here."

So I searched through my text for instances of this, and changed all of the plural there's to there're.  But that didn't look right either.  So I did some research, and it seems there's disagreement on this issue.  Some claim that "there's" is ok to use with singular, and others claim that "there're" should be used.

I went with "there's".

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6,980 Posts
Words I search for and try to reduce:

sort of
in spite of
for a moment

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JRTomlin said:
I think the understood noun of "group" which is singular is the reason for the use of the singular.
That's true when you have a singular group, such as:

"There is/there's the couple I was telling you about."
"Where is/where's the flock of penguins?"

But the example I gave was a plural (fifteen of us). So, it couldn't be written "there is fifteen of us here."
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