I am an audio transcriber. One of my clients systematically dictates sentences such as :

  • I feel that, if the company wanted to use the procedure, that it would seem likely it would have to ..

To me, the second that should not exist. Am I wrong ?

  • 3
    I believe you're right that it shouldn't exist. The gap between them makes me think the speaker can easily forget that they already said 'that'. Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 10:43
  • 2
    Or the speaker is compensating for the possibility that the listener has forgotten the earlier "that".
    – TimR
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 10:52
  • No, you're perfectly correct. Only one subordinator "that" is required. No need for the first comma either.
    – BillJ
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 10:55
  • Effectively the speaker is making "if the company...procedure" into a parenthetical phrase, and one which dramatically interrupts the flow of speech/thought. When spoken, with an appropriate cadence, it likely sounds fine, but it does not come off well in print, where the cadence cannot be duplicated. (It would work a little better if dashes were used rather than commas, but that may conflict with the desired formality of the final product.)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


If you are an audio transcriber creating formal text from contributed recordings then you should correct the sentence as you described in your question. You clearly have the right and the responsibility to do so.

If you're transcribing public speeches or other "on-the-record" dialogues then you should reproduce them as-is, warts and all.

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