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‘The reason is because ~ ‘ is said to be ungrammatical. One of the reasons is that the verb there is a link-verb which links a verb and a complement, and in this case the complement should be a noun-clause preceded by ‘that’. However, the construction is widely accepted unless you are writing formal documents. Does this apply to ‘it is because ~ ‘ or ‘this is because ~’ or ‘that is because ~’?
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'The reason is because ~' is said to be ungrammatical. One of the reasons is that the verb there is a link-verb which links a verb and a complement, and in this case the complement should be a noun-clause preceded by 'that'. However, the construction is widely accepted unless you are writing formal documents.

You are quite right. I think 'the reason is because ~' is not so a bad construction, though OED gives no quote for the usage of this construct.
Does this apply to 'it is because ~' or 'that is because ~'?

I think they are acceptable even in formal English. OED gives 77 quotes for the former and 7 for the latter.

paco
Thanks, paco.
I've been using 'that is because' without thinking about any of its grammatical aspects. My question is, how you parse it. For instance,
"That is because I don't know her."
Here, 'because I don't know her' is an adverbial, right? So it doesn't explain or add additional information to the subject 'this', rather modifying the verb 'is'.

I am not sure if this structure is truly ungrammatical or not, and wondering if there be the way to ratify the usage.
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The objection only applies when the specific word "reason" (a near synonym for "cause") is used with "because". It is not the verb "is" (or any form of "to be") which is the problem here.

Continuing with the idea that "reason" often means "cause" and that "because" means "from the cause that", we see that "the reason is because" means "the cause is from the cause that".

Approaching it from the reverse direction, i.e., considering "because" to mean "for the reason that", we see that "the reason is because" means "the reason is for the reason that".

From the observations above it should be fairly obvious that the sequence "the reason is because" is actually quite nonsensical. It purports to give a reason for a reason! It is not a reason you want to explain the cause of, but (presumably) some event you want to explain the cause of.

If I'm not mistaken, this is what is called a "category-mistake". Others are "The temperature is hot" and "Prices are expensive".

CJ
Thank you CJ for your help.

I think what Infinity wants to know is a bit away from your answer. He takes "because ..." as an adverbial clause, and "it/that/this" as pronouns indicating something like an event (a noun). Then "That is because ..." is parsed as "NP is Adv". It sounds somehow odd to me too, though I think this construct is similar to "The book is on the desk".

paco
Yes. I see. Well, maybe we ought to start a new thread on the uses of "to be", especially in the non-equative senses. Emotion: smile
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Thanks, paco and CJ.
In addition,
The problem is where you are from.
The point is how you do it.
Do these share the same mechanism with 'that is because I don't know her'?
Hello Infinity.

The problem is where you are from.
The point is how you do it.

The "where"-clause and "how"-clause here are noun clauses meaning a place and a manner respectively. So they belong to constructs of "NP is NP".

"Because"- clauses can't be taken to be a noun clause, because "because" etymologically comes from "by cause ". That is our problem.

paco
I had been told that many times we should use "the reason is that" but not "the reason is because" when I was in high school.
I guess "paco2004" probably speak Chinese.In Chinese,we have this structure.I guess "the reason is because" is only the word by word translation from Chinese to English.
But CaliJim ,I did see some English speakers say something like "the reason is because" in one forum which I didn't recall the website.What I want to ask is that Can we use "the reason is because " in a informal occasion or it is totally wrong. If it wrong,why some people use it ? I am totally confused.
Thanks in advance.
Tony
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