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  1. #1
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    Default Cleft sentence--relative clause

    Hi. I am studying for my grammar test, and I come across with this question in my mind: Is it necessary to have a relative clause in a cleft sentence?

    e.g. " It was last year that I last visited her".

    Since there's already a subject and an object in the relative clause, I don't really think this is a relative clause. Therefore, I'm confused if a cleft sentence must have a relative clause embedded.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Cleft sentence--relative clause

    What are you calling the subject and object of the relative clause?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cleft sentence--relative clause

    If "that I last visited her" is a relative clause, then "I" is the subject, and "her" is the object of the relative clause.

    some grammar books say "a relative clause consist of a relative pronoun which acts as either a subject, or an object of a relative clause.

    So with the above sentence, if it's a relative clause, then what is the function of "that" here? Is the dependent clause here still a relative clause?

    In fact, I not sure if I'm correct.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cleft sentence--relative clause

    I don't think it has to be a relative clause: http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary...-sentence.html
    Given that the idea of the cleft sentence is to emphasise something, then it can emphasise the time, as here. You could also emphasise the person you met, when it would be:

    It was John that I saw last year.

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    Default Re: Cleft sentence--relative clause

    Thanks tdol! You've cleared my confusion.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Cleft sentence--relative clause

    Always welcome.

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