Tense change/necessity of "that"


Yesterday she came home from school upset over something (that) she claims (ed?) took place (to have taken place?) during lunch.

asked Feb 06 '13 at 13:51 Michele22 New member

1 answer


This is a great, 3-pronged question!


Use of that


In this sentence, that is optional.  You can use it, or not, when the defining relative clause is an object, as it is here. There are some contexts where that's omission in the object position causes a sentence to be ambiguous, but your example is not one of them.  (There are other situations where you can omit that; let me know if you want more details.)




If she only claimed it once in the past, use claimed; if she has continued to repeatedly claim it up to the present, use claims.


Took place/to have taken place


The second choice is not so common; we don't often use a perfect infinitive (to have taken place) after verbs like claim, hope, or expect, especially when the verb is in the present tense (with she: claims, hopes, expects).  There is no extra meaning between something (that) she claims took place compared to something (that) she claims to have taken place.  So it is better to keep it simple, using claims + simple past.


I hope this helps.



link comment edited Feb 06 '13 at 14:45 Shawn Mooney Expert

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