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Am I able to use the word it twice in a row properly? If not what is a way to avoid doing that? An example sentence would be:

When you select an option and save it, it does update the database.

I added the comma but it still feels incorrect to me.

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    You could say “the database is updated” – Sean May 8 '18 at 13:55
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    Yes, you can use the word twice in a row, although it's slightly awkward and might be better avoided like Sean says. – stangdon May 8 '18 at 14:01
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    When you buy an apple and eat it, it is consumed. – Lambie May 8 '18 at 14:19
  • You need to read up on the concepts of clauses and phrases. Words do not come in rows. There is nothing amiss there. This is a balloon. If you squeeze it, it bursts. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 8 '18 at 19:55
  • The reason to avoid it in your sentence is because its antecedent is not clear. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 8 '18 at 19:59
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So long as you include some punctuation between the two its, everything is fine.

Here's an NGram showing that although instances of "it it" have declined steadily since the early 1800s, they remain fairly strong. (The search apparatus ignores intervening commas, semicolons, colons and periods.)

enter image description here

The Y axis shows surprisingly high usage rates, even now.

Conclusion: The "it it" sequence may bother some people, and such fussiness may be causing its decline, but enough people find it useful that it continues on in the language.

  • No. Punctuation is not necessary, though it is helpful in this instance. – Paul Childs May 8 '18 at 21:08
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    @PaulChilds: Give me an example of a sentence in which punctuation is not necessary between two its. – Robusto May 8 '18 at 22:11
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Shouldn't it be : it updates the data base? Why is the auxiliary does in there? If selecting and option and saving it causes the data base to be updated... isn't that the subject of updating the data base?

1

Is the thing you are saving the same thing that's updating the database? If not, you need to reword it.

If so, your sentence is technically OK, but slightly awkward to read - in speech, verbal rhythm and cues would make it work.

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