Questions tagged [cleft-constructions]

'Cleft' constructions focus on a specific constituent of a simple sentence transforming the sentence into a copular (BE) sentence with a subordinate clause and moving the constituent into a focal position.

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"I tend to favour the opinion that when young men do well it is because of their parents …" — Why is this an it-cleft construction?

the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 1493, example 35i: (1) I tend to favour the opinion that when young men do well it is because of their parents, and when they do badly it is because ...
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Cleft sentence: All I needed was to eat / What I enjoy is eating

Can I check I understand this correctly: What + subject + verb + is/was + verb in matching verb form Let me explain: I enjoy going for a walk. (enjoy + gerund) What I enjoy is going for a walk. I ...
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What he did was (to) reduce the cost. - with/without "to" - do they mean the same?

Example 1 What he did was reduce the cost. Example 2 What he did was to reduce the cost. Does Example 1 mean "he reduced the cost"? If yes, does Example 2 mean the same thing as Example 1? I ...
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Mixing grammatical numbers "What pictures is it that you would like to see?"

What pictures is it that you want to see? This line reads fine to me, grammatical and natural, but I wonder if stylistically speaking I should try and get the grammatical numbers to match. Limiting ...
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What is the structure of "To do, that is ..." [duplicate]

Henry David Thoreau: To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. What is the structure of this sentence? I think it's safe to simplify to "To do, that is A". Is it a ...
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One iota of what they are capable

Read the following "Did they wait until it was too late to make from their life even one iota of what they are capable" I don't understand how they made this 'what' clause there without ...
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What- Phrase in a cleft sentence

I was reading about how lengthy wording is moved to end the Clause by placing everything in a what-phrase at the beginning of the clause. And, I found this example- What he did was exceed our ...
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"It is/was" in cleft sentences

I don't know which tense should be used in the following cleft sentence. In the non-clefted version, the past-tense is used, but in the clefted version, which tense is okay? If both are okay, what's ...
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how to understand the quasi-cleft sentence "it is ...to which....who"?

From "Qualified Homage to Thoreau" by Wallace Stegner: It is Thoreau the moralizing enemy of the tradition to which he owes all his own authority who puts me off. At first glance, it looks ...
HypnoticBuggyWraithVirileBevy's user avatar
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How to transform a sentence in present perfect into it-cleft construction?

If I transform a sentence in present perfect into it-cleft construction, for example, He has inspired me. which pair of tenses used in both matrix and subordinate clauses are correct? or neither. ...
ing's user avatar
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"Usually it's them waiting for me."

The sentence is said to appear in a textbook. I feel this is a cleft sentence to emphasize 'them,' but then it's omitting 'who are' before the 'waiting,' but is this way of expression common?
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Have agreed or agree?

Can anyone help me to find out why (A) structure is wrong and (B) is correct? A. when disasters occur in local communities, it is the students who agree to help again and again. B. when disasters ...
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It is a good teacher that/who . .

Is it correct to convert "A good teacher knows what his students need" into "It is a good teacher that/who knows what his students need"? Is there a specificity requirement on the post-copular NP in ...
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"What is inevitable is the catastrophic..."

Is the sentence below structurally correct, if not please rectify it. Furthermore, I would really appreciate it if you could also say whether it is a cleft sentence or not, and how to make the ...
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What does "it" stand for? [duplicate]

The faeces contain nitrogen and it is that which fertilises the desert soil. source: A collection of a bunch of sentences What does "it" stand for? I'm considering two possibilities: 1, "it" ...
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Usage of "to" between "to be" and the following verb

Here are several examples: Luis lost his job and was short of money, so what he did was (to) sell his flat and move in with his brother. The reason hundreds of students marched through the city ...
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What clause is the sentence in the following paragraph?

We all have ways of showing our sweetie how much we love them. But celebrity relationship expert, Kailen Rosenberg, shares why it’s so important and has tips, that’ll really show them how much, ...
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"Often" as complement of BE

Often is an adverb according to Oxford Dictionaries Online. ADVERB 1 Frequently; many times. 'he often goes for long walks by himself' 'how often do you have your hair cut?' 1.1 ...
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Personal Pronouns and complement of verb be

Which personal pronouns are complement of verb be? First example: A: It was him who broke the window pane. or B: It was he who broke the window pane. Second example: C: It’s me. Can you ...
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usage of time and place in the cleft sentence

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/pronouns/it 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 ...
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What we saw was/were + plural noun + V-ing

The intended context is as follows. You saw a video that had been transmitted from the drones that had flown over terror suspects and killed them. In that video, you didn't see any of the drones, ...
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it cleft-constructions

Fabricius was the first to discover the valves of the veins. If I change this sentence into It-cleft sentences, have four answers. It was Fabricius who was the first to discover the valves of ...
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Why "that" is used instead of "they"?

The others figure it was Rocket that took them, and they're all pissed off. Source I always say, they took my pen or they took my umbrella. but here that sounds like: non living being came to ...
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Cleft sentences with "it"

I've got a bit technical example. But hopefully, you don't need to know the topic. I was discussing design of, say, an application (or plugin, to be more specific). What I said was: Generally, you ...
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Would the sentence be okay without the 'it'?

I still can't get it out of my mind, how she reacted to it all the other day. I still can't get out of my mind how she reacted to it all the other day. Are both these sentences grammatically ...
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cleft and pseudo cleft sentences(All (that) I did was **touch** the window, and it broke.)

Why is the following example (A) correct as a cleft sentence, but not sentence (B)? As I have learned, we can only use 'pronoun, noun, gerund, or infinitive', not the base form of verb (help) after ...
Mickey Mouse's user avatar
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Difference between that and what

I'm struggling to find the difference between that and what especially when using in the following sentence. The sentence that makes me confused is: It is concatenation that does the trick. In ...
Mayjio's user avatar
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How do I form an it-cleft construction?

The aim of studying English is to keep abreast of the times. If the sentence is changed into an it-cleft construction... It is to keep abreast of the times that is the aim of studying English. It is ...
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"that's all this analysis will tell us is"

"I don't really have an opinion of whether Steven Avery is innocent or guilty," Spalding says in the piece. "I have more of an opinion of whether I think there's been planted evidence or not and ...
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All he had WAS/WERE bruises and cuts

All he had were bruises and cuts. All he had was bruises and cuts. What are the differences between these sentences? Are they both grammatical and, if so, which one is more natural?
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"It is you who doesn't OR don't want this" - Stuck between 'don't' and 'does not'

I got stuck while writing this in a post "It is you who does not want ...." While the third person 'it' takes 'does not', when I reveal that it is 'you', should I use 'don't'? In my final ...
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Cleft Sentence: "No one saw the thief" -- "It was anyone who did not see the thief"?

No one saw the thief. If I rewrite the sentence as "It was anyone who did not see the thief", is it the same in meaning with the original one?
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If it is "it wasn't me" then is it "it wasn't us"?

I've many times heard this phrase: It wasn't me Here the case of me is accusative. In that case should we say It wasn't us if the agent is plural?
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Subject of infinitive clause with "expected"

You are expected to be well informed. Is it possible to rewrite the above sentence in this way: It is expected from you to be well informed.
bart-leby's user avatar
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"It was me" or "It was I"

It was ... salted the earth around your flower deck. I wrote the second form "It was me". I have chosen the most "appropriate" answer to this question as somebody who is learning English. This ...
jr28's user avatar
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"It's the people who love you >you're the hardest on<."

In this sentence, the middle part "--who love you" is an attributive clause which depicts "the people", but how to explain the latter clause? Is it an emphatic sentence? Could someone explain the ...
Lime4real's user avatar
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"who" in emphatic sentence

1)Tom went to the party with Mary yesterday. 2)It was Tom who/that went to the party with Mary yesterday. 3)It was Mary who/that Tom went to the party with yesterday. Sentence 2 and 3 are emphatic ...
August's user avatar
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"All you should do is study hard" vs "All you should do is to study hard"

All you should do is study hard. All you should do is to study hard. Is the one with to correct? When should I use to like that?
mimi's user avatar
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Is "Is it his job to always be available?" correct?

Which of the following sentences is correct? For which reasons? Is it his job to always be available? Is his job to always be available?
Robbo's user avatar
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The only thing she’s done wrong is [show it to me]

The only thing she’s done wrong is show it to me. (The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith) The last thing he wanted to do was rescue her. (The Town, Chuck Hogan) Both the sentences seem to have ...
Listenever's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
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What the demand is going to be like for it in the future

Efforts by the Treasury to sell bonds due in more than 30 years would face obstacles as the Federal Reserve begins raising interest rates from a record low, according to dealers that underwrite U.S. ...
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Is this 'that' placed right?

Then I noticed a small plate of complimentary marshmallows near Chloe’s elbow and it suddenly seemed clear that I didn’t love Chloe so much as marshmallow her. What it was about a marshmallow that ...
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Correctness of "It is rarely that + [clause]"?

It is rarely that police arrest people without adequate suspicion. I suppose it means that: The police rarely arrest people without adequate suspicion. but I couldn't find this in my grammar book....
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1 answer
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What does this "it" indicate?

It is a pleasure to me to reflect upon this subject in the language of Burke, who uttered the well-known touching eulogy over the neglected bier of its European prototype. It argues a sad defect of ...
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It is things VS it is a thing

Please check both sentences and let me know, which one is correct. As per my opinion it is(is) for singular thing so it should be it is the worst thing not it is the worst things. I read it somewhere:...
user62015's user avatar
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Meaning of "bake your noodle"

In the movie The Matrix 1999, the Oracle said to Neo: What's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything. I don't quite understand the ...
Kinzle B's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is the sentence "That is my black cat (that) you are after" an emphatic sentence?

I have been taught that that the sentence pattern "It is …… that ……" is an emphatic sentence: It is my black cat (that) you are after. But I wonder whether this sentence is also an emphatic ...
user48070's user avatar
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2 votes
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It is + inverted clause

The sentence in question: It is in chaos do we find reality. I wouldn't have posted this question if the sentence were worded like this: We find reality in chaos. or In chaos (do) we find ...
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What kind of it clause is this?

When they went upstairs to the crowded common room, it was to find Fred and George had set off half a dozen Dungbombs in a fit of end-of-term high spirits. -- Harry Potter and the Prisoner ...
Listenever's user avatar
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What does this it~to construction mean?

His aunt and uncle hadn't been able to think of anything else to do with him, but before they'd left, Uncle Vernon had taken Harry aside.    "I'm warning you," he had said, putting ...
Listenever's user avatar
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