Can the words "is" and "that" be used back-to-back in the following sentence?

The reason I went to the store is that I ran out of milk.

Similarly, can "is" and "because" be used as such? For example:

The reason I went to the store is because I ran out of milk.

  • 1
    Related, possible duplicate: Is it correct to say “The reason is because …”? – choster Oct 7 '14 at 0:50
  • You're asking about the construction X Be that S. A that complement clause (as here) can be used as the predicate of an identificational sentence with X (here X = The reason (that/why) I went to the store) and the form of Be is is. A because clause is also acceptable when the X is a reason or cause; this is the case here, but not everywhere. – John Lawler Oct 7 '14 at 2:05
  • Why do you think these wouldn't be grammatical? – curiousdannii Oct 7 '14 at 8:30

According to http://www.getitwriteonline.com/archive/072303reasonbecause.htm "is that" is fine, but "is because" is not correct because of redundancy.


  • 5
    Oh, that's BS. Because is fine, but that is shorter. – John Lawler Oct 7 '14 at 2:01

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