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Misusing "That ... of A"

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Often this is used in the phrase "that big of a deal". However, this is not grammatically correct. (The prepositional phrase seems to modify "that big", but that is an adjective without a noun, which is not allowed in English.)

The correct usage removes "of": "that big a deal". You can see how it is correct by reversing the order: "a deal that big".

Note that "of" is still correct in "a bit of a deal", since "bit" is a noun, not an adjective.

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