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Emphatic (or cleft) sentences  Просмотрен 661

§ 180. These sentences in their turn fall into three patterns, in allofwhich the form of the complex sentence is used to emphasize some part of the sentence.

In the first pattern the emphasized part is placed in the position of the predicative, which is followed by a clause. The main clause is patterned on the model of the it-clause and the subordinate clause may be patterned as an attributive, temporal, local or nominal clause.


It is my friend who told me this.


The role of the main clause is purely emphatic, as the information which is divided between the main and the subordinate clause can be expressed in a simple sentence.


It ismy friend who told me this ——> My friend told me this.

It isthe examination that you and I are concerned with ——-> You and I are concerned with the


If isnot that she loved him ——> She did not love him.

It wasthe idea they were buying, not the project ——> They were buying the idea, not the project.


The emphatic position may be occupied by a whole clause.

It waswhat she said that spoiled the impression.

Was itbecause dusk was gathering that you failed to see anything?


In the last two sentences the content of the predicative clause is em­phasized.

The position of the predicative serves for placing greater emphasis on the part occupying this position. Semantically the emphasized part may fulfil different roles.


It wasnot till this very moment that I recollected him ——> did not recollect him till this very moment.

(The emphasized part is adverbial modifier of time.)

It isnot that I hate you ——> I don’t hate you. (Negation is empha­sized.)


The cleft sentences and the simple ones given above are similar in meaning as they describe the same situation. The difference lies in a special accentuation of the bold-faced words.

The subordinate clause may be joined asyndetically: It isnot you I hate.


Pseudo-complex sentences of this type may be interrogative.


What is it that happened to you?

What was it he disliked so much ?


A sentence can be transformed into different cleft sentences depending on what element is to be emphasized. For example:

John liked to read books at home - → It wasJohn who liked to read books at home. → It wasbooks that John liked to read at home. → It wasat home that John liked to read books.


The second pattern of cleft sentences is used to emphasize the predicate, which is split into the operator in the subordinate subject clause and the infinitive in the main clause.


What Johnliked wasto read books at home.

What hedisliked so much wasto be addressed by passers-by.


The particleto is often omitted.


What hehas done isspoil the whole thing.


The third pattern of pseudo-complex emphatic sentences begins with the conjunction if, which does not introduce a conditional clause.


If I feel sorryfor anyone it’sNorman ——> I really feel sorry for Normal.

Appended clauses (повторы с уточнением)

§ 181. There are several varieties of appended clauses, modelled on the pattern of the main clause. These are used to intensify or reinforce a statement in the previous clause. The most common type of appended clauses are tag questions (tags). You are tired, aren't you? You are not ill, are you?

In non-formal style there is another form of appended clause, which is elliptical.


He is always very gloomy, is that John of yours.

She is a clever girl, is your friend.


In such sentences the link-verb to be is generally repeated, or a form of the verb to do is used.


He never told me anything, did your brother.



The appended part may consist only of a nominal group.


He is a clever boy, your brother John.


Such cases should not be confused with appended clauses.

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