Here is an example of B2 focus with a singular noun phrase at the front of a sentence:
It is easy to find information about singular noun phrases + that clauses on the internet:
We use a noun + that-clause to express opinions and feelings, often about certainty and possibility. We also use that with reporting nouns. Some nouns commonly used in this way are belief, fact, hope, idea, possibility, suggestion, statement, claim, comment, argument
However, we have to do our own research to find a noun phrase complemented by a following clause, and in particular the ‘plural noun phrase + ARE + THAT clause’ structure. We believe this should be listed as a C2 grammar point.
- Plural noun phrase: This is usually a general term that sets the topic of the sentence. In your examples, “The signs”, “The facts”, and “The allegations” are the plural noun phrases.
- ARE: This is the verb that connects the noun phrase to the “that” clause. It’s in the plural form to agree with the plural noun phrase.
- THAT clause: This is a type of subordinate clause that provides specific details or claims about the topic set by the noun phrase. It often includes a subject and a verb, and it can express a complete thought.
Let’s look at examples:
- “The signs are that the economy is recovering slowly from the pandemic.” Here, “The signs” is the plural noun phrase, “are” is the verb, and “that the economy is recovering slowly from the pandemic” is the “that” clause providing specific details about what these signs are.
- “The facts are that he lied to the court and tampered with the evidence.” In this case, “The facts” sets the topic, and “that he lied to the court and tampered with the evidence” provides specific claims about these facts.
- “The allegations are that she embezzled millions of dollars from the company.” Similarly, “The allegations” is the topic, and “that she embezzled millions of dollars from the company” provides details about these allegations.
This structure is useful for presenting information or opinions in a clear and direct way.
We start by doing a search in the NOW corpus for:
the _NN2 are that_CST
1 THE CHANCES ARE THAT 2517 C2
*The article is not necessary:
*’that’ can be omitted:
*Note that the elements can be rearranged:
2 THE INDICATIONS ARE THAT 1189
3 THE ODDS ARE THAT 1009
*It’s hard to believe that ‘odds’ is considered C1 in the English Vocabulary Profile when it’s less common and more advanced than ‘chances’.
ODDS = C1 the probability that a particular thing will or will not happen
For the rest of the results we have used AI to complete the sentences in the same ranked order as the corpus:
- The signs are that the economy is recovering slowly from the pandemic.
- The facts are that he lied to the court and tampered with the evidence.
- The allegations are that she embezzled millions of dollars from the company.
- The expectations are that he will announce his resignation soon.
- The rules are that you have to wear a mask and keep a safe distance from others.
- The implications are that we will have to cut costs and lay off some staff.
- The positives are that we have a loyal customer base and a strong brand image.
- The consequences are that he will lose his license and face a hefty fine.
- The indicators are that the infection rate is dropping and the vaccination rate is rising.
- The issues are that we have a tight deadline, a limited budget and a complex problem to solve.
- The reports are that he was seen leaving the scene of the crime with a suspicious bag.
- The risks are that we could lose our market share, damage our reputation and face legal action.
- The conditions are that you have to pay the deposit by tomorrow and sign the contract by next week.
- The benefits are that you will get a higher salary, more flexibility and better opportunities for growth.
- The challenges are that we have to compete with bigger rivals, adapt to changing customer needs and innovate constantly.
- The concerns are that he may not be fit for the job, he may have a conflict of interest and he may have ulterior motives.
- The requirements are that you have to have a bachelor’s degree, at least three years of experience and fluent English skills.
- The reasons are that he was unhappy with his work, he had personal problems and he wanted a change of scenery.
- The projections are that the population will grow by 10%, the GDP will shrink by 5% and the unemployment will rise by 3% in the next decade.
- The rumours are that she is dating her co-star, she is pregnant with twins and she is moving to Hollywood.
- The downsides are that you will have to work longer hours, travel more frequently and deal with more stress.
4 THE SIGNS ARE THAT 999
5 THE FACTS ARE THAT 933
6 THE ALLEGATIONS ARE THAT 320
7 THE EXPECTATIONS ARE THAT 242
8 THE RULES ARE THAT 184
9 THE IMPLICATIONS ARE THAT 139
10 THE POSITIVES ARE THAT 124
11 THE CONSEQUENCES ARE THAT 109
12 THE INDICATORS ARE THAT 97
13 THE ISSUES ARE THAT 95
14 THE REPORTS ARE THAT 88
15 THE RISKS ARE THAT 87
16 THE CONDITIONS ARE THAT 83
17 THE BENEFITS ARE THAT 80
18 THE CHALLENGES ARE THAT 74
19 THE CONCERNS ARE THAT 71
20 THE POLICE ARE THAT 71
21 THE REQUIREMENTS ARE THAT 63
22 THE REASONS ARE THAT 63
23 THE PROJECTIONS ARE THAT 59
24 THE RUMOURS ARE THAT 58
25 THE DOWNSIDES ARE THAT 57
Note that in the English Grammar Profile, there is also a C2 grammar point for a premodified singular noun phrases for focus. So there is no question if the plural versions are C2.
This is very rare in the COCA corpus:
_A _J _NN2 are _CST
1 THE EARLY INDICATIONS ARE THAT 6
2 THE ONLY REQUIREMENTS ARE THAT 6
3 THE BEST ESTIMATES ARE THAT 4
4 MY PERSONAL FEELINGS ARE THAT 4
5 THE CLEAR IMPLICATIONS ARE THAT 4
6 THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS ARE THAT 3
7 THE SIMPLE FACTS ARE THAT 3
8 HIS ONLY REGRETS ARE THAT 2
9 MY FINAL THOUGHTS ARE THAT 2
10 OUR CURRENT ESTIMATES ARE THAT 2
Here are results completed by AI:
- The early indications are that six more companies are planning to invest in renewable energy.
- The only requirements are that six key tasks must be completed before the project deadline.
- The best estimates are that four million people will be affected by the policy change.
- My personal feelings are that four days of vacation is not enough to fully relax and recharge.
- The clear implications are that four major events will have to be postponed due to the pandemic.
- The biggest problems are that three main servers have crashed, causing significant data loss.
- The simple facts are that three of our best-selling products have been out of stock for weeks.
- His only regrets are that two opportunities were missed due to lack of preparation.
- My final thoughts are that two key strategies need to be revised for better results.
- Our current estimates are that two more quarters will be needed to reach our sales target.
- “The/My/His/Our”: These are possessive adjectives or articles that start the sentence. They refer to who or what owns or is associated with the noun that follows.
- (Adjective) + Plural Noun: This is usually a general term that sets the topic of the sentence. The adjective describes the noun. For example, “early indications”, “only requirements”, “best estimates”, etc.
- “are”: This is the verb that connects the noun phrase to the “that” clause. It’s in the plural form to agree with the plural noun phrase.
- “that” + Clause: This is a type of subordinate clause that provides specific details or claims about the topic set by the noun phrase. It often includes a subject and a verb, and it can express a complete thought.