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there:

I have a sentence. I'd like to know the second "that" could be removed?

The accident resulted from an outside sudden cause that the driver had no control and (that) occured without any warning signals, thus the accident was inevitable.

This sentence comes from two separate sentences. The first is: The accident resulted from an outside sudden cause that the driver had no control. The second is: The cause occurred without any warning signals.

I combined the two sentences together, but I am not sure whether the second "that" should be removed or not? I am often confused by this problem; anybody can give me a general rule?

Thanks!

  • You do not need the second that. (You don't even need the first that.) Whether or not you include it is purely a matter of style and personal choice. – Jason Bassford May 10 '19 at 16:16
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If the two sentances are to be combined in that that way, i think the secon "that" is needed. However both original sentence had some other problems:

The accident resulted from an outside sudden cause that the driver had no control.

should be

The accident resulted from an outside sudden cause that the driver had no control over. (or perhaps "no control of", but "over" is better and more common.)

The cause occurred without any warning signals.

This seems awkward to me, although it might be less so if a specific cause were stated. I would favor a variant such as:

  • The accident occurred without any warning signals.
  • There were no warning signals before the accident occurred.
  • The cause was not associated with any warning signals.

For an overall version:

The accident resulted from an outside sudden cause that the driver had no control over and that arose with no warning signals, thus the accident was unavoidable.

("Inevitable" would mean the accident was destined no matter what, "unavoidable" means that the driver had no way to avoid it.)

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you David. I lost "over" in my sentence. Also, I'd like to know the second “that” in your sentence could be removed or not? Could you let me know your further interpretation why the second “that” in my sentence is needed? – edgar May 9 '19 at 23:34
  • @edgar I think the second that is at least strongly preferred, and may be required. I would not omit it. The parens were copied in by mistake, and i have removed them. Thanks. – David Siegel May 9 '19 at 23:39

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