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Notice, that with this meaning, the word is an uncountable noun, so you can only say youth, not youths. (BBC)

Does "that" indicate that the whole part afterwards is the objective clause of the verb "notice"? But why there is a comma between "that" and "notice"?


Correct: only "that with this meaning, the word is an uncountable noun" is the object/complement of "notice".

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  • 1
    It could be repunctuated: Notice that, with this meaning, the word is an uncountable noun. Notice that the word is an uncountable noun when it has this meaning.
    – TimR
    May 3, 2018 at 12:33
  • 1
    And you can find it punctuated that way, though it is a matter of choice: books.google.com/… or books.google.com/…
    – TimR
    May 3, 2018 at 16:55
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo I'm familiar with both of the two punctuating ways you gave, while surprised by the BBC "style".
    – Zhang Jian
    May 4, 2018 at 3:07
  • The placement of the adjunct with this meaning between the clause-introducer, that and the subject of the clause, the word, is an interruption designed to highlight the restrictive condition or proviso when it has this meaning. The interruption can be, but need not be, signaled with commas. Commas isolate the phrase.
    – TimR
    May 4, 2018 at 11:34

2 Answers 2

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It's difficult to challenge the BBC but I would certainly not put a comma there to avoid misunderstanding.

Notice what? Yes, you got it right! Here, 'that' indicates the rest of the part to pay attention to.

A similar pattern is the result from COCAE:

Notice that with equal-weighting, the sum of the attribute values in Table I would be 0 for each system and, therefore,...

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  • I now think only "that with this meaning, the word is an uncountable noun", not the whole part following "that", is the object/complement of "notice".
    – Zhang Jian
    May 4, 2018 at 3:12
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Notice, [that with this meaning, the word is an uncountable noun, so you can only say youth, not youths].

The comma after "notice" is not required.

This is an imperative construction where "notice" is the verb and the bracketed element is a subordinate content clause functioning as complement of "notice".

Traditional grammar treats the that clause as direct object of "notice", but modern grammar takes it as a complement.

With only a few minor exceptions, direct objects are always noun phrases, not clauses.

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  • 1 I think only "that with this meaning, the word is an uncountable noun", not the whole part following "that", is the object/complement of "notice". 2 Would you put a comma between the verb and its complement?
    – Zhang Jian
    May 3, 2018 at 8:14
  • No, the whole bracketed element is a clause as complement of "notice". Within the clause, there are two adjuncts "with this meaning" and "so you can only say youth, not youths". I already said that the comma is not required.
    – BillJ
    May 3, 2018 at 8:20

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