Questions about repeating a given word in a phrase, sentence, or short passage of text.

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30
votes
9answers
45k views

How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem

Have you ever had a case where you felt compelled to include strange things like a double that in a sentence? If so, then what did you do to resolve this? For me, I never knew whether it was ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “princessship” a real word? Are there any other words which have the same letter 3 times consecutively?

One of my friends argues that princessship is the only word which has 3 identical letter comes together (s) ,but I think there is no word such as princessship. Can anyone tell me whether this is a ...
14
votes
7answers
40k views

What does “had had” mean? How does this differ from “had”?

For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences: I had a bad day I had had a bad day
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the term for the double consecutive use of a word with stress on one of the words to alter its severity?

What is the term when a word is used consecutively twice, with intentional stress placed on the first word, as a means to alter the severity of the word's meaning? I am not referring to a past ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Using “to” twice in a row

In the sentence "Who should I talk to to learn about that?" my grammar checker says I have a repeated word. I admit that it sounds a little awkward, but I'm not sure it's incorrect. I realize I could ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

“The thing is, is that…”

This is a phrase I've heard many people use, and it sounds wrong to me; e.g.: The thing about that is, is that she might take it the wrong way. It seems to treat "The thing [...] is"—the entire ...
9
votes
5answers
38k views

Can you use two “and”s in a sentence?

For example, I like chocolate, vanilla, and lemon and orange ice cream. Indicating "lemon and orange" is a combined flavor, as an item in the list needing an initial and.
8
votes
4answers
758 views

Transcribing long repeating phone numbers

I always have this problem of telling people my phone number which consists of a series of repeating numbers: 184 555 5555 (DO NOT CALL, this is just as an example) I can tell people it is: ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do some people say “the reason is is that,” with “is” twice in a row?

Does anybody have any conjectures as to why this quirk is so common? For an example, see this TED talk by Kevin Slavin.
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it proper to start a sentence with the word that ended the last sentence?

For example: Instead, you’ll use a higher-level model called ASP.NET AJAX. ASP.NET AJAX gives you a set of server-side components and controls that you can use when designing your web page. This ...
6
votes
3answers
499 views

“Are you sure sure” — is this repetition grammatically correct?

A typical conversation among members of my age demographic could go like this: Person 1: Did you know that x > y?!? Person 2: Are you sure? Person 1: Yeah, I'm sure. Person 2: Are ...
6
votes
1answer
295 views

What do we call the “repetition” construct (if it's even proper English)?

I've sometimes seen this construct, used to avoid repetitive handwriting, but I don't even know if it's proper English. If it is, what is the name of this construct? I have no idea what to search for ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

When should I repeat the definite article?

I am a bit confused about the rule of setting the definite article in a sentence when it is associated to two nouns. The beginning and end of the channel. The beginning and the end of the ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it bad English to have two to's in a row?

For example how would one correct the sentence "what website should I go to to upload the photo?" or is it correct already?
5
votes
3answers
607 views

How did the phenomenon of doubling words come about?

I am referring to phrases such as: "Do you like her, or do you like like her." Can someone provide an explanation of this? There are many more examples but none come to mind at the moment.
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How to properly write sentence with double words

I commonly come across sentences where I have to write the same word twice such as, This is what I've been looking for for a long time. and in these cases I just try to rewrite the sentence to ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Is there a term for using a word twice in a row, but in a grammatically-appropriate way?

For example: "I could tell he had had a great time at the circus." If you're not repeating the word for emphasis, is there a term for the sequential usage, other than "coincidence"?
4
votes
4answers
577 views

Can we use two pronouns side by side?

While writing an essay, I felt the need to write two "her"s simultaneously: Jane had taken the book from Ann five months ago, and hence felt the need to return her her book as soon as possible. ...
4
votes
3answers
518 views

What is a word called that consists of a repetition of one word?

What is a word called that consists of a repetition of one word? I came across the word polypoly in one of the other question asked on the site, and it got me thinking whether there are other ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Rules about prepositions and duplicating 'to'

On occasion, I end up writing sentences that contain a duplicate word, often what is probably a preposition (or better yet, an adposition). The specific example that I just ran into involves a ...
4
votes
1answer
10k views

using had had in a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “had had” mean? How does this differ from “had”? I had had so many interruptions this morning that I scarcely had done any work or I ...
3
votes
2answers
12k views

“Talk to you then then”

I am talking to a friend on the phone and the conversation is somewhat incomplete but we decide to hang up. Before hanging up, he says "I'll see you tomorrow". Would it be grammatical to reply, ...
3
votes
3answers
60 views

Repetition of “and” in a list [closed]

Given the following sentence: I want you to join both the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy documents together by lunch time. Is the repetition of "and" OK? Should I wrap my documents in ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Too many “and”s? Is it grammatically correct?

A friend of mine (a non-native speaker of English) has asked me to check her CV and I'm afraid / ashamed to say, I'm having trouble. Are there too many "and"s in the given sentence? It seems OK to ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the word “that” overused? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “that” in a sentence Is it wrong or in bad form to constantly use the word "that" when it can be omitted? The test that she took was so ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Correct usage of the verb “do”

Is it correct to use the word "do" twice in a row? For instance; "I do do that" or would you say "I do that"? "You do do that" or "You do that"? Which is correct, or are they both correct?
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Excesive instances of citing or making reference to something

What is the word for the act of repetitively making ad nauseam reference to something, or citing it to the point that either it annoys or it becomes trite?
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Don't you do this vs Don't do this

Could anyone clarify, please, what the difference between these two sentences is? I heard an American woman say to her child: "Don't you do this!"
3
votes
3answers
654 views

Is there a formal name for when the same word appears twice (or more) in a row?

Sometimes I read, write or speak a sentence where a single word appears twice in a row. For example: The book he had had a torn cover. I was curious if there was a formal term for such a ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Can you use the same word twice? [closed]

In the sentence below the word "easy" and "easier" are used. Is it okay to make this sentence? "Because it is easy to make the characters bigger, it's easier to read it."
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is 'this this' correct?

The ability to echo words and still make a meaningful statement has always bugged me. Take this example sentence: "Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. We will take care of this this ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Using “of” twice in a sentence

Is it correct to use of twice in the following sentence? The problem of absence of remote facilities is addressed in the article... What is the best way of writing this sentence?
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How can you use “either… or” twice in a sentence?

I want to be able to say something like: There either needs to be X to do either Xa or Xb or there needs to be Y. (edit: since from some answers it doesn't seen to be clear, I mean that that Xa ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Double words in a sentence, what is this called? [closed]

Trying to find out what double words in a sentence are called. I know there's got to be a word for it. There is for everything! Examples: I had had a good day, until you arrived. We know ...
2
votes
2answers
921 views

How to avoid needless repetition? [closed]

In German, repetition is frowned upon. For example: Instead of the disfavored repetitions Der Professor betreut die Studenten bei der Ausarbeitung der Bachelorarbeiten und Masterarbeiten. ...
2
votes
1answer
528 views

Term for sentences using multiple repeated words

Is there a term to describe the repeated usage of the same word in a sentence. Repetition is probably too broad for this, as it does not quite capture the deliberate and multiple nature of the ...
2
votes
1answer
389 views

Does this sentence call for an additional “for”?

I'm confronted with two compelling options: I want to be at least partially responsible for getting them to think differently, or inspiring them to earnestly investigate new topics. I want to ...
2
votes
0answers
577 views

Appearance of “is is” in speech patterns [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “The thing is, is that…” Why do some people say “the reason is is that,” with “is” twice in a row? For the past few years I've been noticing a curious phenomenon. ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it not repetition to say “semantic meaning”?

I was going through an article on wikipedia and somewhere it said, "the semantic meaning of [noun here] is twofold ......" When I look up the word semantic, to me, it is like a defining word that ...
1
vote
3answers
43 views

“It is through experiences that you experience the world.” - avoid repetition

"It is through experiences that you experience the world." How can I say the same phrase, either replacing the world "experiences" or "experience"? I was thinking "It is through experiences that you ...
1
vote
2answers
190 views

Strange sentence structure from a piece by Paula Gunn Allen

This lesson is in a pattern book. I want to know why the word about is repeated quite a few times in the text: My mother told me stories about cooking and childbearing; she told me stories ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What is the word for a phrase repeated over and over?

I remember learning such a word in my studies of drama and poetry. I am referring to the following example, I want to deconstruct the IBM commercial directed by Jim Henson. ...
1
vote
4answers
469 views

How to avoid this repetition

I have the following sentence: He grabbed the Duke's shoulder and turned him to face him. Without pronouns for disambiguation of the two occurrences of "him": Vigil grabbed the Duke's ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Repetition of the pronoun “I” [closed]

For an introduction to an essay I'm writing, I say the following: My hand was shaking. I opened the email, and began to read the first line. I only needed to see those first two words: “We’re ...
1
vote
1answer
237 views

A literary term meaning reversed repetition?

A quote from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss lists "actors and acrobats, musicians and hand magicians, jugglers and jesters" My first thought on reading it was that "hand magicians and ...
1
vote
1answer
625 views

Multiple “in”s in a sentence [closed]

I always wonder whether the sentences which contain multiple *in*s are proper / a good practice. For example, Edit Ok. May be it was a bad example. Sorry about that. But it's a real question. I ...
0
votes
4answers
122 views

How can this sentence be correct?

I read the following sentence in a book and could not in any way justify the correctness of the sentence. Please help: Most states impose limitations on the authority of the legislature to borrow ...
0
votes
2answers
155 views

“The problem is he is stingy”

I have this sentence: The problem is he is very stingy with his money. But I feel it sounds weird or even wrong with the two ises so close. Is the sentence structure grammatical? If it isn't, ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Repeating phrases like “There are questions after questions after…”

What is the correct way of punctuating repeating phrases in a sentence? Are commas and semicolons required? Example: "There are questions after questions after questions after questions on page ...
0
votes
1answer
298 views

Enumeration that starts with “in the”

What is grammatically correct? I participated in the math club, in the cycling club and in the computer game design club. or I participated in the math club, the cycling club and the ...