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In a sentence where 'provided that' is followed by two conditions, is a second instance of 'that' required, optional or wrong?

1: [statement A], provided that [statement B] and [statement C]

2: [statement A], provided that [statement B] and that [statement C]

For example:

Manchester United will win the title on Saturday, provided that Aston Villa beat Liverpool and [that] Arsenal beat Chelsea.

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See Use of 'that' in a sentence - "that" can often be dropped; it's optional in your example. –  aedia λ Jun 28 '11 at 16:34

3 Answers 3

Use and that when confusion might result from the use of and alone.

With your example, one might read:

Manchester United will win the title on Saturday, provided that Aston Villa beat Liverpool and Arsenal...

...thinking that Aston Villa must beat two teams, Liverpool and Arsenal; upon encountering the word "beat" again, the reader might become momentarily confused, and have to start the sentence over again. (This is an example of a garden path sentence.) By using and that instead, you eliminate that potential confusion.

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Um. Pedagogically you are correct, but I can't help feeling that the confusion is likely to be slight, particularly since this construction is used by football reporters almost every week. –  user1579 Jun 28 '11 at 17:10

The use of "that" the second time identifies the second condition as being independent of the subject of the first. Consider it like putting parenthesis around arithmetic or programming expressions (which may make no sense to you, but this was the first thing that sprang to my mind):

if (AstonVilla > Liverpool) and (Arsenal > Chelsea)
    ManU.WinsTitle = true;
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unfortunately, programming lingo doesn't necessarily apply to english. for example, if we wanted to check whether three things were the same, we would say: if (a == b) and (a == c) or something similar, not (a == b == c), which we would say in English. –  bcc32 Jun 28 '11 at 23:44

To make everything absolutely clear, I would use both, so:

Manchester United will win the title on Saturday, provided that both Aston Villa beat Liverpool and [that] Arsenal beat Chelsea.

The second "that" is optional. I'd probably leave it out in this case, but add it with more complicated conditions.

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