Definition of That

Explore the various definitions of ‘that’ in language, from demonstrative pronoun to conjunction. Learn how ‘that’ clarifies communication and its importance in sentences.


When we hear the word ‘that’, we often think of it as a simple pronoun used to point out something or someone. However, the word ‘that’ has a much broader and complex definition that encompasses various meanings and uses in language. In this article, we will dive into the various definitions of ‘that’ and explore its importance in communication.

Definition of ‘That’ as a Demonstrative Pronoun

One of the most common uses of ‘that’ is as a demonstrative pronoun, used to point out specific people, places, things, or ideas. For example, ‘That is my favorite book’ or ‘Look at that beautiful sunset.’ In these cases, ‘that’ is used to indicate a particular object or concept.

Definition of ‘That’ as a Relative Pronoun

Another definition of ‘that’ is as a relative pronoun, used to introduce a clause that provides additional information about a previously mentioned noun. For example, ‘The book that I bought yesterday is on the table.’ Here, ‘that’ introduces the clause ‘I bought yesterday’ that provides more information about the book.

Definition of ‘That’ as a Conjunction

‘That’ can also function as a conjunction, connecting two clauses or sentences to show the relationship between them. For example, ‘I know that you are busy, but could you help me?’ In this sentence, ‘that’ introduces the second clause and shows the reason or condition for the request.

Importance of ‘That’ in Communication

Understanding the various definitions of ‘that’ is crucial for effective communication. Using ‘that’ correctly helps clarify relationships between different elements in a sentence and ensures that the message is conveyed accurately.

Examples of ‘That’ in Real Life

  • ‘That’ can be used to point out specific objects or concepts, such as ‘That car is mine.’
  • ‘That’ as a relative pronoun provides more information about a noun, as in ‘The movie that we watched last night was amazing.’
  • ‘That’ as a conjunction connects clauses or sentences, like ‘She said that she would call me later.’

Case Studies

In a study on language comprehension, researchers found that participants had better understanding of sentences that correctly used ‘that’ as a relative pronoun compared to those without it. This suggests the importance of using ‘that’ properly for clarity and comprehension.


According to linguistic analyses, ‘that’ is one of the most frequently used words in the English language, showcasing its significance in communication and structure.

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