CLEFT SENTENCE. A construction in which a simple SENTENCE is divided into two clauses so as to give prominence to a particular linguistic item and the information it carries. The sentence On Monday the players objected to the delay can be restated as any of three cleft sentences: (1) With the focus on the players: It was the players who/that objected on Monday to the delay. (2) With the focus on the delay: It was the delay that the players objected to on Monday. (3) With the focus on Monday: It was on Monday that the players objected to the delay. The first clause of a cleft sentence consists of It, a form of the verb be, and the focused item. The rest is a relative clause. A similar device is found in the pseudo-cleft sentence, where the subject is generally a nominal relative clause, the verb is a form of the verb be, and the focused item follows at the end: What I badly need is a good rest (based on I badly need a good rest). Unlike the cleft sentence, the pseudo-cleft sentence can have a verb (and other elements that follow it) as the focused item: What we did was replace all the carpets. Similar are sentences in which a pronoun or noun phrase with general reference is used instead of the nominal relative clause: Something I badly need is a good rest. The thing we did was replace the carpets.
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Sentence , SENTENCE The largest structural unit normally treated in GRAMMAR. The sentence is notoriously difficult to define; numerous definitions have been off… Clause , CLAUSE CLAUSE. In grammatical description, a SENTENCE or sentence-like construction included within another sentence, such as because I wanted to in… complex sentence , COMPLEX SENTENCE. A SENTENCE consisting of one main CLAUSE in which are embedded one or more subordinate clauses: I know where she lives, in which wh… Probation , A sentence whereby a convict is released from confinement but is still under court supervision; a testing or a trial period. Probation can be given i… compound sentence , COMPOUND SENTENCE. A SENTENCE consisting of two or more main CLAUSES. The clauses may be linked by a coordinating conjunction: and in The power faile… Adverbial , ADVERBIAL ADVERBIAL 1. Relating to an ADVERB: an adverbial clause. 2. A WORD, PHRASE, or CLAUSE that modifies a VERB or a verb plus other words: usua…
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