Anonymous wrote:Can someone flesh out the below concept? I feel like i only know enough to be dangerous.
"and finally, yes, 'the rate that' is simply... wrong. things don't 'happen a rate'; they happen at a rate, so that preposition has to stay. same reason you can say 'the grocery store at which i bought that food', and not 'the grocery store that i bought that food'."
in general, you can't say "the X that NOUN VERB" unless X is the object
of the VERB (= "the thing that gets VERBed"). by definition, this means that you should be able to turn around the sentence so that it says "NOUN VERB X".
for instance, i can say "james hit the ball", so this can be turned around to "the ball that james hit..."
on the other hand, i can't say that "this process happens rate X", so, therefore, i can't write "the rate that
this process happens".
instead, i have to use the preposition "at", because that preposition occurs in the idiomatically correct version of the first sentence:
"this process happens at
rate X" --> "the rate at which
this process happens"