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Can I use a noun-phrase complement as "that-clause" ?

For example :

I am looking forward to that they will visit us.

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  • 1
    This is a good question! The short answer is no, you can't use a that-clause here. "I am looking forward to" takes a noun phrase, like "visiting Boston", or "a well-deserved rest", but not a that-clause. Maybe somebody else can explain it a little more fully?
    – stangdon
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 17:40
  • This may help you here and here
    – Peter
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 18:06

2 Answers 2

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OK {That they will visit us} is cause for happiness.

OK I know|hope|suppose|imagine|predict|bet|anticipate|wish|am delighted|etc {that they will visit us}.

But the to of looking forward to (and similar verbs) cannot be complemented by a that-clause.

OK I am accustomed to {the noise}.

not OK I am accustomed to {that it is noisy}.

P.S. We would say:

I am accustomed to {the fact} {that it is noisy}.

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After a verb + preposition can follow only a noun or a gerund, a that-clause can not follow.

But there is a second possibility when you use a verb + preposition, the preposition is dropped, eg

  • to agree on/about sth: They managed to agree on a date for the wedding.

  • to agree + that-clause: We agreed (that) the proposal was a good one.

http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/agree?q=agree

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