While taking a PSAT practice test, I was told by the answer key that the underlined sentence below is grammatically correct and does not need to be changed. a screenshot of the sentence in question

In my experience "reasons," when used in this context, is usually followed by the phrase "as to why bees are vanishing" "for why it is that bees are vanishing," or "for the vanishing of bees." Will simply a "that" suffice here or is my answer key incorrect?

Thank you!

  • Any noun can be followed by a relative clause.
    – Lambie
    Jul 24, 2018 at 20:40
  • It might help to look at a singular reason. For example The reason (that) I am late is. ... That seems more natural.
    – JJJ
    Jul 24, 2018 at 20:40
  • 1
    I think that it is dodgy: I would expect [why] or possibly [explaining why] rather than [that]. It just hit me: are you practicing from an on-line practice from Scholastic or whatever they are called , or is it from a third party study guide. Jul 24, 2018 at 20:41
  • There is also reasons because of which... but that is wordy, and so using that is much less so. I agree with @JJJ that the reason that sounds more natural and is probaby luch more common, and it also shows that plural the reasons that should be correct, even if it may sound wonky to some, even to some native speakers, which is why they come up with such stuff as I began this comment with. Jul 24, 2018 at 21:11
  • 2
    No doubt, @Lambie; but there isn't a relative clause here.
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 24, 2018 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


SAT Tips & Strategies (©2018 Khan Academy)

[17] Studies have offered several possible reasons that bees are vanishing.

It's a way of expressing "… possible reasons (for the fact) that bees are vanishing.

There's no grammatical error as such, so the sentence needs no correction.

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