In a cleft (or divided) sentence, the information that could be given in one clause is divided into two parts, each has its own verb: It was Lanny who was taken aback by your impoliteness. By splitting a sentence we can either emphasize some piece of new information and give explanations or make a contrast with a previous statement: The forwards were doing their best to save the game. But it was the left back who finally scored. Nobody was surprised by the way Lily looked at the reception. It was what she said next that shocked the guests. Cleft sentences can be of different types. 1. It-cleft sentences have the following structure It + a form of ‘to be’ + emphasized part + that/which/who clause It was Margaret Mitchell who wrote ‘Gone with the Wind’ This pattern can be used to highlight the subject or the object of a simple sentence, or an adverbial or a prepositional phrase. Study the following examples and see how parts of a sentence can be emphasized. In 2006 The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to the Turkish author Orhan Pamuk for his exploration of the clashes and interactions of different cultures. 1. It was Orhan Pamuk who was awarded The Nobel Prize. (emphasis on the subject – Orhan Pamuk) 2. It was The Nobel Prize for Literature that the author was awarded. (emphasis on the object – The Nobel Prize) 3. It was in 2006 that Orhan Pamuk was awarded. (emphasis on the adverbial – 2006) 6 4. It was for his exploration of the clashes and interactions of different cultures that Pamuk was awarded. (emphasis on the prepositional phrase – for his exploration) The personal pronoun after it+be is used in the objective case: It was him who was awarded The Nobel Prize. In a very formal style a subject pronoun is used. To avoid being too formal, one should use structures with person/one. It was he who was awarded The Nobel Prize. (too formal) He was the person/one who was awarded The Nobel Prize. (neutral) It is possible to use when and where to introduce the subordinate clauses of time and place in informal language: It was in my pencil box where I found her message. It is at the beginning of the next month when I can apply for a job. But how, why or what are not used in this way: It was with certain great pleasure how/that he ran before the wind. It was because of money that he lied to us. – It was money why he lied to us. It is the speed of the new racing car what/ that is so thrilling. It-cleft sentences with not can be rendered into Ukrainian by means of the expression зовсім не: It was not on the beach close down by the sea that I found them. The construction It is (was) not until……………that….. can be used either to emphasize an adverbial modifier of time It was not until early morning that her dress was ready. (Лише вранці………) or an adverbial clause of time It was not until the results of the competition were announced that he sighed with relief.
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