In the first Presidential discussion held on September 2, the moderator, Lester Holt let Hillary Clinton to counter with Donald Trump’s statement as follows:

Trump: ….And once you say you’re going to have to tax them coming in, and our politicians never do this, because they have special interests and the special interests want those companies to leave. So what I’m saying is, we can stop them from leaving. We have to stop them from leaving. …

HOLT: Let me let Secretary Clinton get in here.

CLINTON: Well, let’s stop for a second and remember where we were eight years ago. We had the worst financial crisis, the Great Recession, the worst since the 1930s. …

Can I drop the second 'let' from “Let me let Secretary Clinton get in here” and say "Let me get Secretary Clinton in here"? What difference does it make, when I said so?

  • The second one is ungrammatical. Do you mean Let Secretary Clinton get in here? – deadrat Oct 2 '16 at 3:51
  • Allow me to give Secretary Clinton permission to respond. Which part do you find redundant? – michael.hor257k Oct 2 '16 at 6:39

I think the somewhat odd locution "let me let" arises from the circumstances of the debate. Ordinarily a debate may be considered a game in which the opponents take turns presenting their own arguments and disputing the other's arguments. Trump doesn't play that game. Instead he

  • plays (i.e., tries to manipulate) the moderator before the debate; this time he complained that Holt was a Democrat who would treat him unfairly. (Holt is a registered Republican.)
  • plays (i.e., baits) his opponent during the debate; this time he interrupted Clinton dozens of times.
  • plays the victim after the debate; this time he claimed the questions were unfair and anyway his mic was broken.

A moderator who's intimidated by a Trump will lose control of the debate. A polite (and weak) request would be

Let's allow Clinton to talk.


Let me let Clinton talk

is different. It says two strong things -- (1) You will allow me to do my job and (2) It's my job to grant permission for talking.


The second statement is not correct grammatically.

Let me is always followed by a verb. I am taking the following definitions and examples from www.talkenglish.com

Let me + (verb)

Let me' is suggesting that you are asking for permission or an opportunity to do something.

Here are some examples:

"Let me make my own decisions." "Let me offer to help you." "Let me open the door for you." "Let me pause and think about what we are doing." "Let me welcome you to the neighborhood." "Let me save you the trouble." "Let me make a suggestion." "Let me try and fix your car." "Let me taste the soup before you add more spices." "Let me treat you to some ice cream."

Though in the first statement 'let' is redundant, it seems grammatically correct. Thanks!

  • 1
    "in the first statement 'let' is redundant," Please explain. – michael.hor257k Oct 2 '16 at 6:42
  • 1
    Let is redundant. But it makes sense. Let is also a verb. Nothing wrong with that sentence. Just that it may sound little strange or odd. – Vanpram P Oct 2 '16 at 7:53
  • Let is defined by Google as "not prevent or forbid; allow." So if you take the meaning in the place of second let it all makes sense. – Vanpram P Oct 2 '16 at 7:57

Can I drop the second 'let' from “Let me let Secretary Clinton get in here” and say "Let me get Secretary Clinton in here"? What difference does it make, when I said so?

The difference is this:

In the first sentence, I (the moderator) will give Secretary Clinton the permission to "get in here" (i.e. to respond).

In the second sentence, I am the one that will be getting Secretary Clinton in here. This would make sense if Secretary Clinton were waiting in another room and it was necessary to bring her in here so she can respond. It makes less sense in the current context.

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