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I came across the following sentence in a website:

人々は月はチーズの球だと考えました

This sentence seems to have two topic particles: 人々 is the topic of the main sentence because "people thought something" (人々は...考えました). The と particle marks what people thought, which was the sentence 月はチーズの球だ. This sentence has a different topic and therefore another は. Is this analysis correct? Is this sentence I've found grammatically correct?

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  • It always means 人々は「月はチーズの球だ」と考えました. Always. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 20:06
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    それは私は変だとは思わないです。
    – user4092
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 8:05

1 Answer 1

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You are correct in your analysis of the meaning of the sentence, that the sub-clause "月はチーズの球だ" (where the subject is "月"), is nested inside the outer clause (where the subject is "人々").

Multiple occurrences of "は" particles in the same sentence is an interesting phenomenon, since it many times sounds perfectly natural. I believe it sounds more natural when the particles are used differently. Compare: "私は", "では", "ことは", "には" etc.

Nonetheless, overdoing it will make it more and more difficult to parse and make sense of the sentence.

Is this sentece I've found grammatically correct?

I think so. Although, I would be inclined to throw in a comma after the first "は".

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