In this link, I found the sentence '' It is August that you are going on holiday''.

I wonder why it is not ''in August''? I think the sentence '' It is in August that you are going on holiday'' will be sound.

The second question is ''Can I use where/when in it-cleft sentence?''

E.g, It was the market where I met her.

  • Whether the statement with where would be considered a "cleft" depends on the definition of "cleft". Although I consider the where-clause similar to a that-clause in this construction, there are linguists who would disagree with me, who would call the phrase introduced by where a locative complement and say that such a sentence was not a cleft. I don't keep up with contemporary grammar, and would defer to them in such matters. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 5 '17 at 11:33

The difference in meaning is one of time granularity.

It is August that X - Speaker is thinking in terms of months, e.g. vacations, etc. are allocated by month, not by anything smaller.

It is in August that X - Speaker is thinking in terms of weeks or days, but is concerned with what is happening in August.

The second question is ''Can I use where/when in it-cleft sentence?''

Where as relative pronoun (or any relative pronoun really) doesn't care if the subject of the first clause is it.

It was yesterday that I saw him.

It was the moldy one which made him sick.

It was 4:00 when he disappeared.

| improve this answer | |
  • I don't buy this distinction. Strictly speaking, August with no preposition is "invalid" anyway. Consider, for example, It's 1955 that Einstein died, which is syntactically equivalent - where almost all native speakers would insist on the preposition in being included. OP's prepositionless version is just "marginally acceptable" sloppy speech, not a valid way of conveying a fine nuance. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 5 '17 at 14:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.