With formal writing

Should we keep or omit "that"? or Is it optional?

Is there anything (that) happened (that) you particularly remember?

  • Could anyone please explain why this question is consider off-topic, so I can edit it. – Shannak Mar 4 '17 at 10:15
  • I am downvoting this question not because I believe it is off-topic but because I believe it is a poor question inasmuch as it is ostensibly about "formal" writing and yet the example provided reads like the transcript of an informal conversation. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 4 '17 at 13:11
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    Others may have reasons for their close-votes. I didn't vote to close. I think the question deserves to be open; but I felt that you chose a poor example, if you were interested in formal writing. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 4 '17 at 15:22
  • This question is complicated by the choice of verb in the example, namely happen. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 4 '17 at 15:35

The first "that" is obligatory because it is the subject of the relative clause "that happened."

The second "that" is not obligatory because it is not the subject of the relative clause "that you particularly remember." However, considering the presence of the first relative clause between the referent "anything" and the second relative clause, using the second "that" might be particularly advisable in writing.

You can read some theory and examples below for further reference (source: Swan's Practical English Usage):

Double relatives

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  • @Araucaria You are right. I will edit my post accordingly. – Gustavson Mar 3 '17 at 21:39
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    @Araucaria Let me check, just in case... It sounded to me as necessary the first time I read it, but then read your version and found it fine too. – Gustavson Mar 3 '17 at 21:43
  • If it's not part of the sentence (like the subject), then it's a conjunction (and can be omitted). – Alexey Ivanov Jul 1 '19 at 20:27
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    @AlexeyIvanov You're right. The second that is a conjunction and can be omitted. – Gustavson Jul 1 '19 at 21:54

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