Can a preposition be used before "that"?
For example:
The house in that I live is nice

or maybe: The house that I live in is nice

I think which is correct in these cases but why? Could someone explain me?

  • 3
    Idiomatically, you can't "front" the preposition to come before that. You can do it with The house in which I live is nice, but otherwise it has to be The house that I live in is nice. – FumbleFingers Oct 1 '17 at 16:32
  • but isn't "which" used for non-defining relative clauses? And why the second is correct? – BoSsYyY Oct 1 '17 at 16:34
  • 1
    No, not in relative clauses. However, there are a few prepositions that license complement clauses: "I'll go provided that you pay!" "I was lucky in that there was little real competition". – BillJ Oct 1 '17 at 16:39
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    @BillJ: I'm not sure, but I think 2-300 years ago you could use for that to mean in order that, because (as in I study hard for that I will get a good job). Certainly not today though. – FumbleFingers Oct 1 '17 at 16:49

The following choice is correct. "That I live in" serves as an adjectival phrase, restricting "house".

The house that I live in is nice.

The following choice is incorrect:

The house in that I live is nice.

"In that I live" is correct for expressing a different meaning. "In that I live" is an adverbial qualifier similar to "As long as I live" or "Inasmuch as I live". The following example is grammatically correct. Notice that "in that I lived" describes what makes the house "nice", not the "house" itself:

The house is nice, in that I lived through the earthquake. Some of my neighbors died when their apartment buildings collapsed.

  • if "in that I live" is an adjectival phrase then what is "in which I live" ? Is it describing the house or me ? I really got confused now – BoSsYyY Oct 1 '17 at 17:05
  • 1
    @BoSsYyY "In which I live" is a relative clause modifying "house. "I live in x house". – BillJ Oct 1 '17 at 19:14
  • @BoSsYyY -- The first quarter of your comment is incorrect. – Jasper Oct 1 '17 at 20:42

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