I would argue that "that" is NOT implied when you say "I always say yes." It actually doesn't read well or sound well with "that." unlike "I think that we should go." I think it's more an instance of a different grammar structure in Spanish rather than common English having implied "thats" all over the place :)
As a native English speaker, having "that" in sentence like this one makes no logical sense, and I have never heard it or seen it used, until now. Even when reading through some advanced english, I've never come across this.
It makes no sense to say "I said that yes." or "I say that yes." as a stand-alone sentence. One's chances are that it's certain that if one says this, the listener will always ask, "And?/ 'yes' what?", because in English this always feels like "I say that yes..."; it has to be followed by something, or else it just hangs there in the air awkwardly.
A subordinate clause is a clause that is dependant on another clause for meaning. For example, in my previous sentence, "that is dependant on another clause for meaning" would be the subordinate clause because it depends on "A subordinate clause is a clause" for meaning.
OK, now that I read that several weeks later, it does look like word salad, so I'll try that again :)
main clause = the part of the sentence that's necessary for meaning; if you don't have this, you have no sentence at all
ex. The broadway play that she was in was terrible.
"The broadway play . . . was terrible." is the main clause. Without that, there is no sentence.
subordinate clause = the part of the sentence that requires context in order to be understood; adds additional information but can be removed
". . . that she was in . . . " would be the subordinate clause in the above sentence. You can remove that part of the sentence and have the sentence still make sense. It lets you know that she was in that terrible play. You cannot remove this from the main clause and have it be its own sentence.
I think that the use of "main" and "subordinate" clauses is unfortunate when we walk about meaning. Subordinate clauses are so-called because they cannot grammatically stand on their own.
In your example, the restrictive clause, "that she was in" is essential for meaning even though the clause cannot stand alone. Consider this sentence: "If you insist on dancing naked on the table, I shall be outraged." Here, the main meaning is contained in the subordinate phrase.
Another example "The play that she was in, which was written by a team of monkeys, was terrible." Here, the non-restrictive subordinate phrase "which was etc.," while being (to my twisted mind) extremely interesting, is not essential.
After all of this, the Spanish "que" we are dealing with functions as a conjunction. Your examples employ "that" in an adjectival subordinate clauses. That is different from the subordinate clause we are dealing (Literally: I never say that 'no.'). Here, "that functions as a "complementizer."
I wrote about this above, so won't go on about it, but in English we often have what is known as an "empty complementizer,"—John believes (that) pixies exist"—in which the "that" is left out. In Spanish, it appears, the necessity for what I'd guess is a complementizer is mandatory in a sentence where it looks weird in English ("I never say that 'no.'")
I felt the question regarding the use of 'que' needed more research. I didn't understand. It is a relative pronoun. It does stand in for 'that' which is optional in English, not in Spanish. I think it's a relative pronoun introducing more information about the noun, 'a relative clause'. I can only guess in this context it could be "I never say that, no. We seem to need a comma to make sense of it. As an native English speaker we know it's implied.
I think that rather that "que" functions as a conjunction, something we don't use in this single-word situation in English.
But, for example, a longer sentence with a conjunction: "Yo nunca digo que Papa Noel existe" = I never say that Santa Claus exists." A perfectly acceptable translation.
In English we often say "I never say Santa Claus exists." The conjunction separates the main clause "I never say," which (if true) is not arguable. It's a fact. The "Santa Claus exists" part is debatable, and thus separated from the main clause. In informal language and in newspaper writing etc. we cut out the conjunction. In academic writing, it's still frowned upon.
It may be that the Spanish subordinate clause always requires the conjunction. In English: "I want you to come with me" = Quiero que vengas conmigo," with that pesky "que" in there. But say it enough and speaking the Spanish without it sounds unnatural even to my English ear.
Good question, and it may need a native speaker to weigh in here. My example used the present subjunctive (vengas) and one usually uses the infinitive ("you to come") to translate that into English.
However, if one wanted to be really literal, I'm guessing yours would be a word-for-word translation. The present subjunctive is needed in my example because a new subject is introduced and it followed a wish (quiero). Dropping the "conmigo," of course I could say, "Quiero venir," but that means something quite different!
I don't think it's possible in Spanish once the second subject is introduced (the "you to come" bit) to get away without the "que" in Spanish.
Here's an interesting forum in which people are discussing the issue you bring up re "I want that...": http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=309525
As you can see, there is some disagreement here regarding the use of the conjunction ("that"). If you go to this address, the best comment is by someone who talks about "the valence of verbs"—i.e., the number of verbs needed to make the action complete.
Whew! Starts simply enough and gets deep very fast!
Rosemary, thanks; your comment made sense. I couldn't figure why (except for the "double-negative thing" they allow in Spanish), why the "never-no" wording was there, but also found it strange that no one thought the phrase might mean something a female should not say, for fear of being misunderstood!
Hello, please help! 'I never say no', and 'I never say that no' have two different meanings in English. In this question I was asked to translate 'I never say no' which I translated as 'Yo nunca digo no' - (it was correct but I still wish to clarify please). However the Duo suggestion for a correct answer is 'Yo nunca digo que no' which to me means 'I never say that no'... That is not what we were asked to translate... Do the two, with and without the 'que' mean precisely the same thing in Spanish whereas in English the two English sentences certainly have two different meanings? Thank you :)
That's my point. You would have to say no to something or a question, otherwise you would always say yes. So the rebuttal to this sentence would be - "Say no to what". With the word "Que"(that) thrown in there you would be directing the answer to a statement or a verb. So in fact this is an incomplete sentence if you really decipher it IMHO. For example:
Do you want some ice cream? I never say no.
Do you want some ice cream? I never say no to that.
That's how I interpret it.