[i] This is the watch (that) I lost.
[ii] This is the same watch as (that) I lost.

It is said accusative relative words can be dropped as in [i].
CGEL saying there are omissions in adjuncts of comparison, I wonder if there is the omission in [ii] like that in [i]. From the following case which I found in COCA, it could be ‘that’. Is it? If it is, can ‘that’ be recovered and used as is in [i]?

Following Case:
Is it fair to raise the public sector retirement age to the same level as that found in the private sector?

1 Answer 1


In [i] the deleted that is the head of a relative clause; you may choose to regard it either as a relative pronoun or, following CGEL, as a subordinator.

In [ii], however, and in your example, that is a demonstrative pronoun = that one acting as the object of as. In both cases that is modified by a reduced relative clause, with the relative that/which already deleted (along with BE in your example - 'Whiz-deletion')

This is the same watch as that which I lost.
... the same level as that which is found in the private sector?

In speech the distinction between relative and demonstrative that is even clearer: relative that is unstressed and pronounced with a reduced vowel in the neighborhood of /ɛ/, while demonstrative that is stressed and produced with /æ/.

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