Term: Cleft Sentences

Definition:

A cleft sentence is one where the original clause is divided into two clauses:

John took the money.

It was John who took the money.
It was the money that John took.

The original sentence has a single clause, but in the two cleft sentences, there are two clauses and this can have the effect of changing the emphasis to focus on John in the first and the money in the second.

See Also: Clause; Phrase; Word

'Cleft Sentences' - Related Links

Grammar Topic:  Word & Text

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