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Is "that that" or "that, that" redundant in sentences such as this:

The reason we are late is that that we had an accident.


The reason we are late is that, that we had an accident.

Is it ok if I just say:

The reason we are late is that we had an accident.

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closed as not a real question by MετάEd, tchrist, jwpat7, J.R., Zairja Nov 4 '12 at 4:29

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/3418/… – user19148 Nov 3 '12 at 21:02
The first two don't even make sense. The third is the only grammatically correct one. – American Luke Nov 3 '12 at 21:25
When I saw the title I was not expecting that that would be your question. Your examples are indeed redundant and incorrect. – Jim Nov 3 '12 at 22:29
I really can’t see how that that that that you put after that other that makes that that make any sense. – tchrist Nov 3 '12 at 22:37
up vote 3 down vote accepted

In this case, you only want one "that."

The reason we are late is that we had an accident.

The reason for this is that the construction is "the reason ... is that...".

Example of a double "that" --

"I think that that car is the fastest." (no comma)

Or, to use your original sentence, something like: --

The reason we are late is that that man's hesitation slowed us down.

(or something like that -- still no comma)

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