can you say "suggests THAT" or is "suggests just on its own?
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You can say "suggests that" in various ways. Just make sure it makes sense.
You can say "suggests that" in various ways. Just make sure it makes sense. same thing
If the sentence can be written with just 'suggest' or 'suggests' (most of the time it can) that's what you should use.
'That' is a filler word that adds no meaning to the sentence and should be avoided unless necessary. For example:
Broberg's research suggests that wide distribution improves coverage.
While grammatically correct, the word that adds nothing to the sentence and can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence.
Broberg's research suggests wide distribution improves coverage.
As a general rule of thumb, any time you can write a sentence with fewer words, do so.
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A more fruitful way to think of this precept is that every word in the sentence should do work: some words do the work of conveying content, some words do the work of conveying rhythm and balance. Writing that is concise is generally writing that is more emphatic, but concision must also be weighed against clarity and grace.
In this particular construction, the word "that" is an expletive. It signals an upcoming noun clause. Although it is not a word that conveys content, it does fulfill a grammatical function.
Here is what Garner has to say on the matter --
Wrongly suppressed "that". As a relative pronoun or conjunction, "that" can be suppressed in any number of constructions (e.g., "The dog you gave me" rather than "The dog that you gave me"). But in formal writing "that" is often ill-advisedly omitted. In particular, the conjunction "that" should be retained to introduce clauses following verbs such as "acknowledge," "ask," "believe," "claim," "doubt," and "said", because without the conjunction what follows might be taken to be a noun complement. Dropping "that" after the verb can create a miscue, even if only momentarily.
- Son acknowledges being a member of a discriminated minority -- his grandfather emigrated from the Korean Peninsula to work in the coal mines -- may have helped him turn his eyes abroad early. (Insert "that" after "acknowledges.")
- They believed prisoners should be placed in isolation and educated. (Insert "that" after "believed.")
The writers who ill-advisedly omit "that" seem deaf to their ambiguities and miscues. When one instance occurs in a piece of writing, more are sure to follow. The following examples come from one article -- which contains six more errors of the same variety:
- But the state charged the lease deal, signed in 1991, sprang from a web of fraud and deceit.
- During more than a year of negotiations and bureaucratic processing, the Karcher group claimed the property was worth $2 million when it really was only worth $850,000, the state said.
(_Garner's Modern American Usage_. 3d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.)
For those last two, Garner offers these revisions, where the retained "that" ensures both clarity and balance --
- But the state charged that the lease deal, signed in 1991, sprang from a web of fraud and deceit.
- During more than a year of negotiations and bureaucratic processing, the Karcher group claimed that the property was worth $2 million when it really was only worth $850,000, the state said.
You can find a similar discussion in any comprehensive writing handbook or grammar guide. The _Gregg Reference Manual_ (whose mission is not to canvass issues of grammar and writing in any depth) weighs in on this issue briefly at 172b.
I'm attaching also a basic intro to nominal clauses, to provide more context for the matter. It includes a couple of sentence diagrams, which are also useful.