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This is from a news article :

Huffman now takes issue with the third-party apps that are building a business on top of his own. “I didn’t know — and this is my fault — the extent that they were profiting off of our API. That these were not charities.

I wonder which verb 'That these were not charities' serves as the object of?

I looked up 'that' in the M-W dictionary(conjunction 1b).

Or is the "That" in the quote this 'that'?

used as a function word to introduce an exclamatory clause expressing a strong emotion especially of surprise, sorrow, or indignation

that it should come to this!

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    It's poorly written, though the that clause is not an object but a declarative content clause functioning as an adjunct or arguably as a complement of"know". Note that that clauses are predominantly complements of some verb, noun etc., or possibly adjuncts, but never objects.
    – BillJ
    Jun 16, 2023 at 6:40
  • @BillJ Sorry. I just edited the original post. Thank you very much.
    – user157844
    Jun 16, 2023 at 6:42
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    It's not an excalamatory clause. There's a punctuation error in the transcription of the quote. "That" should NOT begin a new sentence. There should be a comma after API. If you simplify the quote, and fix the error, you can see the construction better: "I didn't know . . . that these were not charities".
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 16, 2023 at 8:47
  • @BillyKerr Thank you very much.
    – user157844
    Jun 16, 2023 at 9:26

1 Answer 1

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I read the text as reported speech, and That these were charities seems to refer simply to I didn't know.

An alternative wording could have been:

“I didn’t know — and this is my fault — the extent that they were profiting off of our API. I didn't know that these were not charities.”

Although not an optimal example of stylistic writing, this is a very common thing in spoken language, for example:

I wasn't aware that she didn't have a job. That she couldn't afford that new car.

As a side note, as @BillJ mentions in a comment under the question, the text seems poorly written. However, what we are looking at is reported speech, in which case I think it is better to report what was said than change someone's words because of stylistic considerations. As a spoken text, this seems totally natural.

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  • Thank you very much.
    – user157844
    Jun 16, 2023 at 9:31

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