Things couldn't have been worse.
Filch took them down to Professor McGonagall's study on the first floor, where they sat and waited without saying a word to each other. Hermione was trembling. Excuses, alibis, and wild cover-up stories chased each other around Harry's brain, each more feeble than the last. He couldn't see how they were going to get out of trouble this time. They were cornered. How could they have been so stupid as to forget the cloak? There was no reason on earth that Professor McGonagall would accept for their being out of bed and creeping around the school in the dead of night, let alone being up the tallest astronomy tower, which was out-of-bounds except for classes.
(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

Does the ‘reason’ license that-clause as its modifier and for-phrase as its complement?

1 Answer 1


The that is a relative clause and does not require licensing.

The for clause, however, is as you say a complement. Reason licenses clausal complements of several types:

  • a reason for going
  • a reason for them going
  • a reason for their going
  • a reason to go
  • a reason for them to go

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .