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  1. Success adores the prosperous attitude, of that you can be sure.

I think there is a problem in this sentence: if the last half is a relative clause "which" should be used instead:

  1. Success adores the prosperous attitude, of which you can be sure.

Or I can split it into two sentences:

3.Success adores the prosperous attitude. Of that you can be sure.

There is a variant of it where "of that" is in its original position:

3a. Success adores the prosperous attitude. You can be sure of that .

Or using a semicolon

  1. Success adores the prosperous attitude; of that you can be sure.

Am i correct?

The context is shown in the picture below.

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    What is it that one may be sure of? The attitude or the fact that Success adores it? Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 16:30
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    I don't think of that really means anything at all in the cited context, since nothing changes if it's omitted. In principle of that is a prepositional adjectival/adverbial phrase providing more information about the adjective sure. Specifically, "sure of the thing just said", not "sure of yourself" or whatever. But that's contextually obvious anyway, which is why of that is "unnecessary". Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 16:47
  • No: relative phrases are only of the wh type, as in "from which", "to which" and "in which".
    – BillJ
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 17:34
  • @MichaelHarvey I am guessing "the fact"
    – ForOU
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 3:50

3 Answers 3

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It isn't a relative clause; it doesn't supply more information about either noun. It's just an assertion that the first clause is true.

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  • Do you think the original form is correct? If the last half isn't a relative clause, then the whole sentence is run-on sentence, I think. So in the place of the comma, the author should have used a full stop or a semicolon.
    – ForOU
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 3:55
  • I googled "of that you can be sure" and found several examples where it follows a comma. I can't give you an 'official' reason why it's acceptable in this case; it just is. Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 9:16
  • Thanks, My concern is that it could be a typographic oversight. As long as a native speaker thinks it is fine, I'll just remember it.
    – ForOU
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 12:14
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No: "that" is a determiner functioning as a fused determiner-head in NP structure.

Relative phrases are only of the wh type.

Note in any case that relative "that" is a subordinator, not a relative pronoun.

If you replace "of that" with "of which", then you would have a relative phrase where "which" refers to "prosperous attitude".

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  • And does the same analysis hold if the sentence were Success adores the prosperous attitude—you can be sure of that. ?
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 18:03
  • How do you analyze the original sentence? If the last half isn't a relative clause, the whole sentence is the run-on one.
    – ForOU
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 3:52
  • @ForOU It would be preferable to use a stronger punctuation mark such as a semi-colon or a dash.
    – BillJ
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 8:39
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Success adores the prosperous attitude, of that you can be sure.

is post-positioning. "of that" is accurate as it is anaphoric or refers back to the main idea.

You can be sure of success adoring the prosperous attitude.

It is fine the way it is and just emphasizes the success bit. You being sure it less important to the writer.

This is allowable because we say: to be sure of something.

"which" is OK too but less emphatic.

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  • If the last half isn't a relative clause, then the whole sentence is run-on sentence, I think. So in the place of the comma, the author should have used a full stop or a semicolon.
    – ForOU
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 3:55
  • @ForOU A relative clause does not start with "of that. He was sure of that. Not a relative clause.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 14:15

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