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The English can be under no illusion that the language of the same name is exclusively theirs. The small matters of the other nations in the British Isles, and of the superpower across the Atlantic, make clear that it is joint property. But these countries—along with Canada, Australia and other Anglophone peoples—must at some point come to terms with the fact that, even collectively, their language no longer belongs to them. Of the estimated billion people who speak English, less than half live in those core English-speaking countries.

"Of the estimated billion people who speak English" is the essential part for the whole sentence.So,i think,it should be better for "Less than half of the estimated billion people who speak English live in those core English-speaking countries.".

So,i want to know whether original writting is used to emphasize the "billion people who speak English"? This usage is common?

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  • Why do you think it's better that way?
    – gotube
    May 29, 2023 at 16:45

1 Answer 1

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of the estimated billion people who speak English

This is an adverbial phrase, and there is a lot of flexibility in where adverbial phrases are placed. Generally, we place adverbial phrases at the beginning of a sentence if they are particularly important: this is called fronting. So, yes, it was placed at the beginning of your sentence for emphasis.

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