Reported speech: two "that"?

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yeng

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Original sentence:
The Prefect Master said, "This year the Regional Band Competition will be at Thomson High School."
I was asked to rewrite it in reported speech form with the beginning words "The Prefect Master announced_____".

I have the impression that I should change "this" to "that" in reported speech. But then I will have an awkward answer with "The Prefect Master announced that that year the Regional Band Competition would be at Thomson High School."

Can I drop one of the "that" or is it okay to still use "this year" because the event has not occurred?

Or can I rewrite it as "The Prefect Master announced that year's Regional Band Competition would be at Thomson High School."?

Furthermore, am I wrong to think that the original sentence should have a comma after "This year"?
 

Grumpy

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As a rule, it's perfectly acceptable to have two "that's" together. However, you are one of many who try to avoid it for stylistic reasons, which is also OK - so long as you do not confuse the meaning. Thus, you could not simply drop one of the "that's", but you could substitute "this year" if the event had not yet occurred. Otherwise, I would express it as "... announced that that year's Regional Band...".
I agree with you about the comma.
 

billmcd

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Original sentence:
The Prefect Master said, "This year the Regional Band Competition will be at Thomson High School."
I was asked to rewrite it in reported speech form with the beginning words "The Prefect Master announced_____".

I have the impression that I should change "this" to "that" in reported speech. But then I will have an awkward answer with "The Prefect Master announced that that year the Regional Band Competition would be at Thomson High School."

Can I drop one of the "that" or is it okay to still use "this year" because the event has not occurred?

Or can I rewrite it as "The Prefect Master announced that this year's Regional Band Competition would be at Thomson High School."?

Furthermore, am I wrong to think that the original sentence should have a comma after "This year"? I am not a comma purist and I use only when necessary to support/enhance meaning.

b.
 
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