"The reason that" or "The reason why"

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Are all three versions correct usage? Is one preferred?

The reason why students did not score high on this test is...

The reason that students did not score high on this test is..

The reason students did not score high on this test is...
 

BobK

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:up: But beware: 'The reason why...is because...' is used but I wouldn't call it 'acceptable'.

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Bob, you wouldn't call it acceptable? So that means the first version is not recommended to use?
 

abaka

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"Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die."

Obviously this is not the same grammatical usage, but I wonder what part of the persistence of "the reason why is" we can thank Tennyson for.
 

kiranlegend

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who is Tennyson?:eek:
 

bhaisahab

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Alfred Lord Tennyson was an English poet who wrote, among many other things, the lines quoted by abaka.
 

bhaisahab

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As Anglika has said all are used, but it is best to avoid this; The reason why students did not score high on this test is... because there will always be people who will criticize it's use.;-)
 

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As Anglika has said all are used, but it is best to avoid this; The reason why students did not score high on this test is... because there will always be people who will criticize it's use.;-)


Sorry, bhaisahab................... I just can't resist............... who will criticize its use. ;-)

I am one of those who cringe every time I hear/read reason why!

However, in Tenyson's poem "reason" is the verb, and in
The reason why students did not score high on this test, reason is a noun.

I am not a teacher. Just fussy.
 

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As Anglika has said all are used, but it is best to avoid this; The reason why students did not score high on this test is... because there will always be people who will criticize it's use.;-)
Its use is criticized because "why" is totally unnecessary there and it sounds bad.
It's like saying 'The way how to do it is...' or 'The place where to go is...'.
 
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