1. I want you to get me an orange.

  2. I want that you get me an orange.

Which is correct? and What is the difference between these two sentences?

1 Answer 1


We do not normally use a that-clause with "want". So the second sentence is not grammatical.

  • 1
    I am not convinced that the second one is ungrammatical, would you explain a little bit more please?
    – Cardinal
    May 30, 2020 at 5:07
  • 1
    @Cardinal I tried to find an instance in COCA but there isn't any. Most instances are just concealed passive constructions such as "I want that person arrested". I don't think I have anything more to explain. The verb "want" just doesn't govern a that-clause as an argument. May 30, 2020 at 5:59
  • 2
    It may be grammatical, but it is definitely not idiomatic English. May 30, 2020 at 10:10
  • I agree with the other comments. The second sentence is grammatical (syntactically sound)—and, therefore, it's "correct" in a strict sense. However, it's not idiomatic and wouldn't normally be used. The following is also a grammatical (and syntactically sound) sentence, even though it wouldn't normally be used: Colourless green ideas sleep furiously. You should qualify your statement so it doesn't lead to the wrong impression. May 30, 2020 at 15:27
  • @Jason "Tell" and "say" are synonyms. "Tell" take a direct object and a that-clause: eg. "She told me she was there". But "She said me she was there" isn't grammatical. That's because the verb "say" and "tell" don't have the same argumentation. Every verb has its own unique argumentation and that's all I can say. I can't think of a situation where it is grammatical to use "want" with a that-clause. May 30, 2020 at 16:27

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