enter image description here

If you give comments on this and say:

"Oh man! She really grew THAT nail THAT long?!"

In uncommon situations, does it sound weird if you use ''THAT'' twice in a sentence?

  • Well, you're the one who suggested someone might say that! But in principle native speakers don't really care how often the word that appears in a sentence, hence "I know he said that that was true, but I don't think that that's quite right". In your case, the first that presumably identifies one specific nail, whereas the second refers to how long it it. Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 17:14
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    If you want to beef up your everyday speech, you might want to go for contracted forms: Doesn't it sound weird if you use] etc.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 17:25
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    Not weird at all. I don't know where that notion comes from, that words should only be used once in a sentence. It sure comes up a lot around here, though.
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 17:27
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    [small note: your profile is nice but should have the word English written with a capital e. Cheers.]
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 17:31
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    I find it's because they either haven't learned it or don't realize it how common it is. Congrats, by the way, on your diligence. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


Your quote is problematic, but not because you use the word that twice.

The problem is that your quote doesn't match your picture. If the person's hand looked like this:

enter image description here

then you might want to draw attention to the one fingernail that is longer than the rest. In that case, you might say:

She really grew that nail THAT long?

However, in your picture, all the nails are long, not just one. So, a more fitting way to make the exclamation would be:

She really grew those nails THAT long?

Sometimes, using the same word twice in a sentence can lead to an awkward sentence, and it might be better to use a synonym instead. However, for little words such as the, that, to, or other prepositions, there is nothing remarkable about the same word appearing more than once.

  • Your innocence is adorable, but the sentence isn't problematic. Imagine one finger in particular is often used to do something where a long nail could get in the way, and then both thats are necessary and correct.
    – Greg
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 5:46
  • @Greg - That's a great job of conjuring a scenario where the sentence works well. That said, that's not the first scenario most of us imagined when we saw the OP's original photo. Great point, though.
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 13:45

Since there are four fingernails there, the only thing a little strange about your statement:

Oh man! She really grew THAT nail THAT long?!

is the singular "that". We might expect:

Oh man! She really grew those nails THAT long?!

But if the picture showed one nail only, or if one of the nails was considerably longer than the others, your statement would be fine.

  • Oh yeah excellent spot there, wrong pronoun, because initially it was only one fingernail but I've uploaded a picture to make my query similar to that, forgetting if that won't fit the same as my description hehe.
    – John Arvin
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 5:35

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