Different Functions of That


I know the basic functions of that: relative pronoun, demonstrative pronoun, demonstrative adjective, etc. However, I have heard people use, myself included, that as a word to place emphasis on an adjective. Ex "I'm not THAT smart" or "It's not THAT good." So can "that" also be used as an adverb since it gives more meaning to an adjective? iIs it an unofficial use of the word? Or, finally, is it somehow an demonstrative adjective, referring to the idea of being something?

asked Jul 24 '14 at 00:38 Jack Morais New member

1 answer


Yes, that is used as adverb in "I'm not that smart" and in "it's not that good."  There's nothing "unofficial" about this; it's perfectly natural. How a word functions determines what part of speech it belongs to (given the  context). Is it a demonstrative adjective functioning as adverb? I wouldn't think so; I'd call it a demonstrative pronoun functioning adverbially.

link comment answered Jul 18 '16 at 01:38 GM Contributor

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