I've never heard the following participial phrase, and it sounds unnatural to me:

Instead of

"There is no way that you are so tall."

one would write

"There is no way you being so tall."

I mean that "that" implies a relative clause: is that correct?

1 Answer 1


No, that is not grammatical.

It is not true that that implies a relative clause. It can introduce a relative clause, but here it is a complement clause.

It might look like a relative clause because it appears to qualify the noun way, and in anothe context (where way is being used literally) it could do so:

That's the way [that] leads home the quickest.

where it answers the question "which way?"

But in your example sentence, even leaving aside the fact that no way is an idiom which cannot be analysed, "that you are so tall" is not in any sense an answer to the question "which way?"

  • 1
    'There is no way [that] something is the case ' can be a casual conversational way of expressing surprise by pretended disbelief. 'There is no way you are so tall' sounds like something an adult might say to a child they haven't seen for a while. A modern version of 'My, how you've grown!' Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 22:00
  • Thank you very much. Do you have any source that shows how to identify relativ clauses? Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 22:14
  • I'm afraid I don't know the sources. But I suspect that it is always going to involve some heuristics. I'm pretty sure you could come up with a sentence where the a clause could be either a relative or not, depending on context.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 12:54
  • 1
    You can tell "that you are so tall" is not a relative clause because there is nothing missing in the sentence "you are so tall". A relative pronoun replaces the subject, object, or another noun in a clause, so one of the nouns would have to be missing e.g. "the person who is so tall" (no subject) or "the person who he killed" (no object for transitive verb "to kill") or "the chair which he sat on" (nothing following "on"). (It's a bit more complex if you have a preposition like "the chair on which he sat" but there you're using a relative pronoun to follow the preposition.)
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 9 at 10:16

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