Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicate:
How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem
“I don't think that that can be done”
Better use of “that that” — or not

Is it grammatically correct to use "that that" in a sentence, or should one use alternatives instead?

I've heard people use and seen people write sentences with "that" occurring twice consecutively. Is this grammatically correct, or is it a construct that should be avoided?

I'm having trouble remembering examples of this idea that don't lend themselves to simple rephrasing. For example:

I saw that that window was open.

I'm not sure this is a good example, but nevertheless, I wonder about the construct.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by JSBձոգչ, Robusto, Mitch, RegDwigнt Aug 10 '12 at 20:11

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

It's totally grammatical. It doesn't sound at all bad to me, but it does stick out a bit. It might is avoided because of the noticeability (for oratory, poetic, or fluency purposes), but in the example you gave it is necessary (there's no way to remove it and stay grammatical). –  Mitch Aug 10 '12 at 20:14
@Mitch Ah, ok. I didn't realise this was a duplicate, either; none of the three questions showed up in the search window when I typed the title. Interesting. –  Ricardo Altamirano Aug 10 '12 at 20:19
whenever somebody needs an example of correct usage of that that just quote: "We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this." A. Lincoln –  mhoran_psprep Aug 11 '12 at 12:24