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
    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. Oct 7, 2014 at 2:05
  • Why do you think these wouldn't be grammatical? Oct 7, 2014 at 8:30
  • 4
    Does this answer your question? Is it correct to say "The reason is because ..."? Oct 3, 2020 at 11:58

2 Answers 2


Anywho, to answer your question, Bob, I believe it is, it would be much simpler to rephrase/reconstruct your sentence and instead say, "I went to the store because I ran out of milk." This flows much more easily.

I agree with what the comment above me says as well. You may say "is that", although I HATE the word "that", but you may not say "is because" because they are both the same type of word.

  • Welcome to EL&U, Berry. This comes across as a bit of a comment instead of an answer. Please take a moment to tour the site and read the FAQ. Stick around and you'll be able to contribute comments soon.
    – livresque
    Oct 2, 2020 at 22:38

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. Oct 7, 2014 at 2:01
  • I'd avoid it, but redundancy is ranked on a scale of acceptability. Some redundancies are seen as fine and dandy. For this one, see M-W's usage note. Oct 3, 2020 at 13:06

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