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Is it grammatically okay if I omit the conjunction "that" in a noun clause that follows a noun such as fact, belief, and so on? Let me take an example.

The fact that the earth is round is true.

The fact the earth is round is true.

If the omission is possible, can it be applied to other nouns like capacity? let me take another example.

This refers to the capacity of plants that they can deal with distinct environmental conditions by changing their forms.

This refers to the capacity of plants they can deal with distinct environmental conditions by changing their forms.

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  • I’m voting to close this question because because it is based on a false premise
    – mdewey
    Oct 16, 2022 at 14:06
  • Oh, thank you for the responses. Unlike the first and second sentences [the fact = the earth is round], "the capacity" must be used with "to infinitive", not "that" clause. Did I get it right? I thought as "the capacity of plants" equals "they deal with distinct environmental conditions", this kind of clause could work.
    – bryce
    Oct 16, 2022 at 19:37
  • @mdewey I don't think this should be closed. It's a question. The OP does not understand about "to* in the other sentences.
    – Lambie
    Oct 16, 2022 at 19:45
  • @bryce: that is the point. fact can take a "that" clause as a complement; capacity cannot. There is no rule of grammar or semantics that will predict this: it is just the properties of those particular nouns.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 16, 2022 at 22:04

1 Answer 1

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As a comment by FumbleFingers points out:

That kind of "that" can always be omitted in "valid" utterances such as The fact the earth is round is true. But your "capacity of plants" example is invalid anyway, with or without "that". It should refer to the capacity of plants to deal with distinct environmental conditions. So I'm inclined to think this question should be closed because it's based on a false premise. What makes you think your second example is (could be) valid?

I (DES) would agree that the sentence:

This refers to the capacity of plants that they can deal with distinct environmental conditions by changing their forms.

is at least akwards and probably grammatically incorrect. In this sort of construction, "capacity" is normally followed by "to" plus a verb form. For example:

This refers to the capacity of plants to deal with distinct environmental conditions by changing their forms.

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