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I am wondering if it's grammatical to follow up a "that clause" with another "that clause".

Here's an example:

There's this rumor that has been making the round lately, namely, that you are cheating your wife.

Is the above ok even if we remove "namely"? Do we need to put a comma after "lately"? Is this a common sentence structure? What would you call such a sentence structure?

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  • Minor points: it is "making-the-rounds" and "cheating on" (if referring to infidelity).
    – rghome
    May 9, 2019 at 11:33

1 Answer 1

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You don't need "namely" or commas. In this context "that" doesn't require a comma as it is a restrictive clause, which means it is not optional. You can use "which" to introduce a non-restrictive clause and in that case it will require a comma.

It is fine to use "that" more than once, but it will get a bit clumsy eventually.

There's this rumor that has been making-the-rounds lately that you are cheating on your wife.

As opposed to:

There's this rumor, which has been making-the-rounds lately, that you are cheating on your wife.

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  • I like the second option better, because stringing multiple restrictive clauses together can get hard to read.
    – Kevin
    Jul 21, 2019 at 12:49

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