Where do I use (and not use) “that?” (not a vs. “this” question)

Given this sentence, the that feels unnecessary:

If I believed that I were in a position to do so, I would.

I find these seemingly spurious instances of that working their way into my prose all the time.

Another example where it seems unnecessary:

I’ve been around people so critical that I ceased hearing them.

My question is: What is the grammatical basis determining where that is appropriate in sentences like these?


We can omit that in all positions, except when the that goes
at the beginning of a sentence . . . or when the that-clause comes
after an abstract noun . . . We usually omit that in speech.

‘An A-Z of English Grammar and Usage’ by Leech and others.

In relative clauses, that is usually omitted unless it is the subject.

If I were and if I was are both grammatical in British English, but not, apparently, in American English.

Source : Link , Question Author : Chris , Answer Author : Barrie England

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