Here are two sentences with similar construction.

  1. (What they are proposing to do) is (horrifying).

Extraposition: It is horrifying what they are proposing to do.

  1. (What she said) is (true).
    It is true what she said. (?? It seems impossible. Why?)

Supposing they are in the same condition of SVC constructure, can the second sentence, the free relative clause, be extraposed to the end of the sentence? As we know, in the first sentence extraposition is preferred.

If we rephrase both the wh-clauses (or noun phrases) into these, both 1a and 2a are fine.

1a. That (or The thing) which they are proposing to do is horrifying.

2a That (or The thing) which she said is true.

  • "As we know, in the first sentence extraposition is preferred." I don't know that this is true, frankly. I would probably be more likely to use your first example when speaking normally.
    – R. Barrett
    Aug 17, 2023 at 19:49
  • It's not clear what you're getting at with the last two examples. For starters, the word order is "that which", not "which that". What is the question you are asking about these two?
    – R. Barrett
    Aug 17, 2023 at 19:51
  • Sorry for typing mistakes. I am a little sleepy.
    – user421993
    Aug 17, 2023 at 19:59
  • 3
    In colloquial American English, It's true, what she said is possible. It tends to have an exclamatory or emphatic tone. "It's unreasonable, what you're asking me to do!" Aug 17, 2023 at 20:23
  • 1
    What @Tim said. It is true what she said looks "peculiar" written out like that, but It's true. What she said is an utterly unexceptional utterance. And we don't always speak in sentences, so who cares how I punctuated it? Aug 17, 2023 at 22:50

1 Answer 1



"It is true what she said" is grammatical. You are already familiar with the term for this construction: extraposition.

"It's true what they say" is a common phrase in English, often immediately followed by an idiom (the thing "they" say that is true).


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .