Double “Is”

I had an interesting debate with my better half the other day. He seems to think that a double “is” is correct when used with phrases such as, “The reason is is…” or “The problem is is…”  or “The question is is…“.

Is that what you think, too?

Well, hate to be the one to break it to you, but the rarified time a double “is” is correct is when you’re using it like I just did or when the second “is” starts a question.

Let me give you some examples. (Read these aloud to yourself.)

The point is is I would like you to stop using a double is. — Incorrect.

The point is I would like you to stop using a double is. — Correct.

The question is, is a double is correct in this sentence? — Correct. (And, yes, it’s correct.)

There’s an easy way to get yourself to stop using a double is. It’s really about what word you’re emphasizing in the sentence.

In the first example, if you had read it aloud, you would have found that you emphasized the first “is” and then said the second “is” almost like an echo. There was almost a hesitation to make the point of the sentence.

In the second example, the emphasis was on “point.” There was no hesitation about making the point of the sentence.

In the third example, the heaviest emphasis was on “question,” and then you breezed through to make the point of the sentence.

Does that help?

 

 

2 thoughts on “Double “Is”

  1. I enjoy learning from your newsletter Diane. It is the only one I consistently read! Thank you.

    Catherine Farah (Joyce Stoddart’s daughter in Charleston)

    >

    Like

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