Browsing Tag

that that in a sentence

Grammar and Usage

Double Words: THAT THAT

A previous lesson  on the double word had helped you to understand that double words sometimes called echo words are common in the English language. And today we continue our lesson on double words in a sentence. Double words in a sentence may look weird at first glance. They may even confuse you! Encountering double words is probably awkward to most readers but not to worry because today we’re going to look at another set of double words and that is the double that.

The Double That In a Sentence : that that

When you see a double that, you’re actually seeing two clauses working together to form a complete thought. The first that is usually a subordinating conjunction, and the second that can be a demonstrative adjective, or a determiner, a pronoun, or an adverb.

Let’s look at this example.

My friend Cassie is getting married, and she just picked out her bridesmaids dresses. Now let’s be honest. What can you say about this dress? Hmm do you like it? Some of you will and some of you will not.

I think that that dress will not please everyone.

See what I did there? I used the double that in this sentence.

Now let’s break it down. The first that is a subordinating conjunction and the second that is a demonstrative adjective modifying the noun dress.

Now let’s look at this other sentence.

I believe that that will not please everyone.

I’m still referring to the dress but notice that the second that is now a pronoun.

The Double That Can Be a Demonstrative Adjective, a Pronoun, or an Adverb

So what are some ways that you could rewrite these sentences and make them less awkward?

You could say: I think that this dress…

so you’re replacing the second that with another demonstrative pronoun.

Or you can say: I think that the dress Cassie picked…

and you can actually use the noun

or you can say: I think that it and you can use a pronoun

And one last example, and in this example the second that is actually an adverb.

It is my opinion that that much plastic surgery didn’t make her more attractive.

Now notice that in this example the second that is an adverb used to show intensity degree or extent.

So how could you rewrite the sentence and remove the second that?

You could say:  It’s my opinion that so much plastic surgery didn’t make her more attractive.

Notice what we did here. We removed the second that and in this case so is used as an adverb.

To conclude,  that the use of the double that should be avoided if possible because like I said earlier, it’s a bit awkward, and it could confuse your reader.