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    #1

    Wh-cleft question.

    These sentences came from a text book I'm using:

    Being on TV is the only thing that matters to some people (question from the text book).


    The only thing that matters to some people is being on TV (answer from the text book).

    Since "What" has a meaning similar to, "the thing(s) which" as a relative pronoun, I have made these two sentences.

    1.Being on TV is what only matters to some people.

    2.What only matters to some people is being on TV.

    Are these sentences correct, and if not, why not?

    Thank you.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Wh-cleft question.

    Quote Originally Posted by skelerobo View Post
    These sentences came from a text book I'm using:

    Being on TV is the only thing that matters to some people (question from the text book).


    The only thing that matters to some people is being on TV (answer from the text book).

    Since "What" has a meaning similar to, "the thing(s) which" as a relative pronoun, I have made these two sentences.

    1.Being on TV is what only matters to some people.

    2.What only matters to some people is being on TV.

    Are these sentences correct, and if not, why not?

    Thank you.
    Your rephrasings are OK. I would change #1 to "Being on TV is only what matters to some people".

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    #3

    Re: Wh-cleft question.

    Quote Originally Posted by skelerobo View Post
    These sentences came from a text book I'm using:

    Being on TV is the only thing that matters to some people (question from the text book).


    The only thing that matters to some people is being on TV (answer from the text book).

    Since "What" has a meaning similar to, "the thing(s) which" as a relative pronoun, I have made these two sentences.

    1.Being on TV is what only matters to some people.

    2.What only matters to some people is being on TV.

    Are these sentences correct, and if not, why not?

    Thank you.
    Grammatically possible, but highly unnatural. We do not normally restrict 'what' with 'only' in this way.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Wh-cleft question.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Your rephrasings are OK. I would change #1 to "Being on TV is only what matters to some people".
    Both the OP's rephrasings and yours sound very unnatural to me.
    Last edited by 5jj; 01-Sep-2013 at 06:03. Reason: typo

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    #5

    Re: Wh-cleft question.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Your rephrasings are OK. I would change #1 to "Being on TV is only what matters to some people".
    Thanks for your replies everyone. I have also felt that "Being on TV is only what matters to some people" may be the better example since the adverb precedes the relative pronoun in the original sentence.

    ...is the (only) thing that...
    ...(only) what...

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Wh-cleft question.

    Quote Originally Posted by skelerobo View Post
    Thanks for your replies everyone. I have also felt that "Being on TV is only what matters to some people" may be the better example since the adverb precedes the relative pronoun in the original sentence.

    ...is the (only) thing that...
    ...(only) what...
    I find "Being on TV is only what matters to some people" extremely unnatural. I would use "Being on TV is all that matters to some people" in order to keep the word order the same.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Wh-cleft question.

    I find them wrong too. Syntactically okay, but in terms of meaning, unnatural. Maybe what is meant is "Being on TV is what matters to some people -- the only thing that matters."

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