Consider the sentence:

The reason I didn't make it on time is that my car broke down.

Should I add that after "The reason"?

The reason that I didn't make it on time is that my car broke down.

Is it correct to use two "that" in this sentence?


1 Answer 1


Yes, it's fine to use two that or two of any word in a sentence as long as each is doing its own job correctly in that sentence.

It can be a bit tiring to have a lot of repetition of less common words, but while such cases might not be good they are still correct. This is nowhere near as much of a concern with small common conjunctions and pronouns like that. Repetition alone is not a reason to cut.

When used as a relative pronoun as here it can be omitted (this is also true when that is used as a conjunction introducing a subordinate clause). It's largely a matter of style. (I personally find myself writing them a lot, but preferring to cut them out if I edit, but then I personally prefer to rephrase "the reason that …" to "… because …" most of the time; there's no reason to follow my style).

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