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Can the word "that" be the subject of the subordinate clause in sentences of the construction "... such ... that ..."?

For example, I believe the sentence:

  1. "It was such a bad ruling that there was a great discontent among people"

is correct, because I've seen a lot of sentences in which the "that" isn't the subject. But I'm not sure about the sentence:

  1. "It was such a bad ruling that caused a great discontent among people"

because in this case the "that" is the subject, which I've never seen before. I made up both sentences.

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  • Asking for text to be checked is off-topic here.
    – Astralbee
    Dec 20, 2021 at 10:31
  • I've editted my question. Is it good now?
    – Vova
    Dec 20, 2021 at 22:58
  • Much better. Thanks for the edits!
    – gotube
    Dec 21, 2021 at 4:28
  • The examples would be easier to understand if you replace "must have been" with "was". Is "must have been" an essential part of your question, or are you just asking about the usage of "that"?
    – gotube
    Dec 21, 2021 at 4:32
  • I'm just focusing on "that". I don't really care about whether "must have been" or "was" is used.
    – Vova
    Dec 21, 2021 at 6:08

1 Answer 1

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Your first example is correct and easily understood; it means that the ruling was so bad that it caused the discontent. The second does not have the same meaning as the first; it could be paraphrased as

"It was a similar bad ruling that caused a great discontent among people".

It means that the great discontent was caused by a different, but similarly ruling.

If you want the second sentence to have the same meaning as the first you should change it to

"It was such a bad ruling that it caused a great discontent among people".

Then "it" (the ruling) is the subject.

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