So my Japanese student made this sentence:

I don't want that he becomes like me.

I corrected it to:

I don't want him to become like me.

but he doesn't understand why I removed that. How can I explain the reason for that?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of I want you to speak English / that you'll speak English / that you speak English IMHO this isn't a matter of "grammatical rules" as such - it's just that idiomatically we don't usually use a that- clause after to want. – FumbleFingers Jul 24 '19 at 13:14
  • ...as pointed out here - it would require extensive reading to find a fairly large number of sentences with to want followed by a subordinate statement. But such sentences do exist, and they're not inherently ungrammatical - just non-idiomatic today. – FumbleFingers Jul 24 '19 at 13:21
  • Note that you have done more than just remove that. You have also changed becomes to become. It makes sense to do so because of the new construction without that. But is part of the confusion over that he becomes versus that he become? – Jason Bassford Jul 24 '19 at 15:57

She did not want that Harry should quarrel with his aunt for her sake.

Thackeray, The Virginians, 1857-1859.

What your student said was not ungrammatical. But it does smack of the nineteenth century. In the comments above there is a reference to the Cambridge Dictionary that clearly says we do not follow want with a subordinate clause beginning with that.

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