I was doing some grammar exercises on a book and this one problem confuses me.:

I understand biology a lot better now that we've got a new teacher.

How can we interpret this sentence? Is "that" wrongly used there?

  • The phrase now that we've got a new teacher is probably best analysed as a reason adjunct. The preposition "now" has been bleached of most of its temporal meaning; instead the adjunct gives the reason for the improvement in your understanding of biology. Grammatically, the that- clause is governed by the prep "now", and "that" is (as is often the case) omissible
    – BillJ
    Aug 8, 2016 at 6:59
  • You could easily have answered this question yourself simply by consulting any dictionary. There is nothing unusual or difficult about the usage of "now that" in this example. Aug 8, 2016 at 9:18
  • Wow, your explanation is very convincing. Thank you so much!
    – Ming Lu
    Aug 8, 2016 at 10:00
  • The elementary school class understands biology a lot better now that their teacher wears no clothes. Sep 8, 2016 at 6:30

3 Answers 3


According to the Cambridge Dictionary,

'Now that' is used to give an explanation of a new situation. (meaning: as a consequence of the fact that, since)

This is an example from the same page: Now that I live only a few blocks from work, I walk to work and enjoy it. (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/now-that#translations)

'Now that' in your example basically means 'since now' or 'because now' that is used when giving explanations: "I understand biology a lot better since/because we've got a new teacher now."

  • Thank you very much. I really don't expect that 'Now that' is a conjunction.
    – Ming Lu
    Aug 8, 2016 at 6:26
  • @MingLu Since a conjunction works as the glue that holds words, phrases and clauses (both dependent and independent) together and that's exactly what the 'now that' is doing in your example, I would think it is a conjunction!
    – Mikiko
    Aug 8, 2016 at 6:31
  • "Now that" is not a constituent since "that" is omissible.
    – BillJ
    Aug 8, 2016 at 7:14
  • @BillJ Many online dictionaries said it is a conjunction, so I just assumed.... Is it just an idiom then?
    – Mikiko
    Aug 8, 2016 at 7:22
  • No, not an idiom, since "that" is omissible. You can say I understand biology a lot better now we've got a new teacher. with no change in meaning.
    – BillJ
    Aug 8, 2016 at 7:29

A now that B

This sentence pattern indicates that A has become true due to B happening.

I can finally pay my rent now that I have a job.

I love going to the beach now that I have learned how to surf.

  • Thank you so much!!! I can understand it now and according to your answer,can I consider the clause (that we've got a new teacher) as an adverbial clause expressing cause. For example, I'm sorry that I caused you such annoyance.
    – Ming Lu
    Aug 8, 2016 at 6:17

I understand biology a lot better now / that we've got a new teacher.


I understand biology a lot better now that we've got a new teacher.

Which slash is right to separate main clause and subordinate ad-clause?

Look at the tense of main clause and subordinate clause, main clause is in 'present tense' but subordinate clause is in 'present perfect tense'!

If my biology teacher have taught me well, I can do better in biology.

And also 'that' is used as adverb-conjunction.


They respected him the more that he was their rector.

In this case I think 'that' is ok.

But complementary in adv-clause is not 'the teacher' but 'a teacher'. This means teacher is 'indefinite'! I have drained whole biological knowledge from former biological teacher. That is he has nothing left to teach , so I need new one.

In this case I think using 'present perfect' in adv-clause isn't OK.

Good luck!

Welcome feedback.

  • @KIRTI Thank you very much for correction! Wow! This is so good place to English newbie!
    – doubleUFO
    Aug 8, 2016 at 14:10

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