i was writing this introduction and i don't know if the use of the word "that" really matters in this instance:

I wrote: "There is no doubt universities play a crucial role in educating society".

But then i started to think that maybe it was needing the word "that" to make it better:

"There is no doubt that universities play a crucial role in educating society"

Does it really matter? Now that i'm reading both options aloud they seem fine to me, but I'm not completely sure whether it does make a huge difference

Thanks in advance

2 Answers 2


This answer in the sister site discusses some cases for omitting that.

In this particular case, when speaking, I would instinctively use the form without that. When writing in a formal communication I would include that.

The use of that is helpful in more complex sentences.

There is no doubt, at least amongst the large majority of the population, that the earth is round.

Here the that draws attention to the part of the sentence associated with doubt.

  • Good example to better understand when the use of "that" is absolutely necessary. But about this example, and the two possible alternatives, are both options acceptable? Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 19:27
  • Yes, both are acceptable. In my answer I suggest that using that is more formal, and hence I would use that in written work. Note here I use "suggest that using", when I could have said "suggest using".
    – djna
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 5:39

doubt admits of the preposition "that", not always though. You may refer to Oxford Learner's Dictionary to see the apposite prepositions used.

  • Besides that , (no pun intended), is it all right if i don't use "that" in this particular example? Like in the first example:"There is no doubt universities..." Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 19:25

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