Cambridge dictionary says that we don't use 'want' with a that-clause :

I want you to tidy your room before the visitors come. (Not : I want that you tidy your room ...)

An website (https://www.englishgrammar.org/thatclauses/ ) also says : Not all verbs can be followed by that-clauses :

I want you to be happy. (NOT I want that you be happy.)

She wants that she should be respected. This sentence has been taken from Lucent's General English by A. K. Thakur. I think this sentence should be written as : "She wants to be respected".

Is the sentence (from Lucent's General English) grammatically correct or not? Why doesn't 'that-clause' come after 'want'?

2 Answers 2


"Wants...that..." is a rare, possibly dialectal usage that would sound wrong to a lot of a native speakers.

The Oxford English Dictionary has a number of examples of the type "She wants (that) she should be respected" (both with and without "that").

Note that all but one of the OED's examples use the modal "should". (The one that doesn't is from the Economic Times in New Delhi.)

The OED comments (of the that-less use): "Sometimes used as a marker of Jewish speech (see, e.g., quots. 1969 and 1973). [In uses by Jewish speakers, or in imitations of their speech, perhaps after Yiddish ikh vil (az) er zol (followed by a verb in the infinitive) I want him to, lit. ‘I want (that) he should’.]"

From the fact that the OED feels the need to give that etymological explanation (and the fact that it gives a non-literal translation first), you can see how odd the "that"-type constructions feel (both with explicit "that" and with implied "that") to many native speakers (at least in Britain). Perhaps it has more widespread use in Indian English.


"She wants to be respected" is the normal English phrase. It is possible to phrase this with a "that" clause, but it is dated and old fashioned.

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