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Countless times, Harry had been on the point of unlocking Hedwig’s cage by magic and sending her to Ron and Hermione with a letter, but it wasn’t worth the risk. Underage wizards weren’t allowed to use magic outside school. Harry hadn’t told the Dursleys this; he knew it was only their terror that he might turn them all into dung beetles that stopped them locking him in the cupboard under the stairs with his wand and broomstick.

From Harry Potter

What are two "that"s in bold for?

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    terror that he might turn them all into dung beetles = fear of them all being turned into dung beetles by him. Jan 21 at 18:43

1 Answer 1

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There is an extraposed subject.

It was X that Y

Where X is a subject and Y is a subjectless clause marked by "that". For example

It was John that came to visit.

is equivalent to "John came to visit". The phrasing with "it" and an extraposed subject is useful when you assume that someone came to visit and you are identifying them.

So your sentence is equivalent to "He knew only their terror that he might turn them into dung beetles stopped them from locking him in broom cupboard." But with the assumption that something must be stopping this, and giving the reason.

The other "that" marks the relative clause "he might turn them into dung beetles", which describes the noun "terror"

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