1. AnarchicQ
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    AnarchicQ Member

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    "That that"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by AnarchicQ, Dec 20, 2008.

    I'm having a little bit of a grammar hiccup here, and would appriciate some help.

    "That would be a bad idea" or "that that would be a bad idea"?
     
  2. ArckAngel
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    ArckAngel Member

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    Well if you add a comma in there, I think that, that is fine. Mind you, I wouldn't use it just because it's fine grammatically. If the sentence works with only one 'that' you should use one. Why? It's just less cluttered. Useless words are just that.
     
  3. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Throwing in a comma won't solve the problem. It would probably make it worse, giving the misleading impression that a new clause is beginning. not to mention, the pause only draws more attention to what is already an akward construction. Someone more knowledgeable will probably give the details, but I think "that that" and "that" (in this scenario) imply two different things. But, as I said, I'm not really sure.
     
  4. Mogri
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    Mogri Member

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    "That that" does look odd, but it's not actually incorrect.

    You could omit one of them:
    "convinced her that would be counterproductive"

    Or change the second "that":
    "convinced her that it would be counterproductive"
    "convinced her that crying would be counterproductive"

    A comma would be completely incorrect.
     
  5. AnarchicQ
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    AnarchicQ Member

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    Ohh, thanks. using that one.
     
  6. sorites
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    sorites Senior Member

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    The fact that you're having a problem figuring out which way to say it suggests that you should rewrite the sentence altogether.

    How about something like:

    [Edit - My comment made it in after everyone else's somehow. Nothing to see here, move along...]
     
  7. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is nothing grammatically wrong with using "that that." I know it looks a little odd, but when saying out loud it doesn't sound as bad when you remember tha the second that gets more of an emphasis.
     
  8. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Nothing is wrong with "that that" since in this case they have different parts of speech. There are a few other words that can be used like that such as, "had had."
     
  9. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    "That that" is perfectly fine. To put a comma in would only confuse matters. You could omit one of the "thats" but that would make the sentence worse. It's fine as is. "That that" is not grammatically incorrect.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's true that "that that" is not incorrect... but it's also true that any of mogri's suggestions would be better...
     
  11. Jack
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    Jack Contributing Member

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    A Possible Solution...

    Hopefully, by getting rid of the first "that" and put "something" after the second "that", would hopefully solve the problem.
     
  12. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, but then you have 2 'SOMETHING's, Jack. I think not.
     
  13. Jack
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    Jack Contributing Member

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    RE: From My first post

    There, that should work now.
     
  14. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    Unfortunately, Jack, your example is very vague. She thinks that if she cries it will be counter-productive. By putting in "that something would be counter-productive" doesn't clarify what is counter-productive.

    It's the tears that will be counter-productive. Not "something".

    Fortunately, she convinced herself that crying would only be counter-productive at this time.

    Or something like that.
     
  15. Jack
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    Jack Contributing Member

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    I accept your reply Sam... It is indeed very vague.

    However, your alternative solution works :) The writer of this tread, can use it.
    I guess it depends if the writer will accept it.

     
  16. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I would go with that crying personally. Naming the thing just sounds better and cannot be confused.
     
  17. katepowellshine
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    katepowellshine New Member

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    I agree with all of the above who assert that 'that that' is correct.

    However, might I recommend removing both thats and replacing with it:

    ...the girl almost curled up into a ball and just wept. Fortunately something inside her convinced her it would be counterproductive. So she did the only other useful thing she could think of....
     

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