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Is "that that" or "that, that" redundant in sentences such as this:

The reason we are late is that that we had an accident.

or

The reason we are late is that, that we had an accident.

Is it ok if I just say:

The reason we are late is that we had an accident.

  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/3418/… – user19148 Nov 3 '12 at 21:02
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    The first two don't even make sense. The third is the only grammatically correct one. – American Luke Nov 3 '12 at 21:25
  • When I saw the title I was not expecting that that would be your question. Your examples are indeed redundant and incorrect. – Jim Nov 3 '12 at 22:29
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    I really can’t see how that that that that you put after that other that makes that that make any sense. – tchrist Nov 3 '12 at 22:37
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In this case, you only want one "that."

The reason we are late is that we had an accident.

The reason for this is that the construction is "the reason ... is that...".

Example of a double "that" --

"I think that that car is the fastest." (no comma)

Or, to use your original sentence, something like: --

The reason we are late is that that man's hesitation slowed us down.

(or something like that -- still no comma)

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