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Post time 2008-11-3 08:01:33 |Display all floors
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Post time 2008-11-3 16:16:07 |Display all floors
I can't give you a proper grammatical answer such as a clause, but perhaps I can help a little bit with this sentence.
The key is the use of commas which in conversational speaking are slight pauses when a person talks, or to give us the feeling of informal speech. Let change the sentence to a statement and compare:

If a film wins an award at Sundance there is a good chance it will become famous.
If a film wins an award at Sundance "that" there is a good chance it will become famous.

Which of these two sentences sound correct?


You did not give us the entire paragraph, but this sentence sounds to me conversational or informal, and possibly is providing a comparison to something else earlier because of the use of the word "Now". This is a conversational way of comparing one subject to another. I am only guessing here. Lets try the sentence change again:

Now, if a film wins an award at Sundance there is a good chance it will become famous.
Now, if a film wins an award at Sundance "that" there is a good chance it will become famous.


And finally, if you have been speaking these sentences out loud to yourself, and pausing at the comma, the last sentence did not quite sound right without the comma Which provides the emphasis on the last part of the sentence.

Now,(conversational pause change)
if a film wins an award at Sundance, (pause to emphasize the following)
there is a good chance it will become famous.



If I were to guess why "that" can not be used here from the grammar point of view it would be because it can't be used as the subject or object of a relative clause. (When using the word "that" as a pronoun). Usually you can substitute the words "who, whom or which" for the word "that", and we can see this won't work in this sentence.

Now, if a film wins an award at Sundance, "who, whom or which" there is a good chance it will become famous.


Using the dictionary, we can also see that the sentence structure does not allow for the usage of "that" as an adjective or adverb.

The dictionary makes it seem possible you could use the word "that" as a conjunction, (used to introduce a subordinate clause as the subject or object of the principal verb or as the necessary complement to a statement made, or a clause expressing cause or reason, purpose or aim, result or consequence, etc.).
This seems to be the closest possibility (clause expressing cause or reason), but I think we would need to rewrite the sentence completely to make it work.



I am sure there is a better way to explain this grammatically, but I hope this helps a little.

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