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Cleft sentence

A sentence in which special emphasis is given to one part (e.g. the subject or the object) by using a structure with it or what. The purpose of a cleft is to put the clefted element into focus. For example, starting with the sentence John wants a mobile phone, we can form an IT-cleft to focus either on John or on a mobile phone.

  • It is a mobile phone that John wants. (Focus on a mobile phone)
  • It is John who wants a mobile phone. (Focus on John)

We can also create a WH-Cleft to focus on a mobile phone.

  • What John wants is a mobile phone or A mobile phone is what John wants.

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