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Thread: cleft sentence

  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    cleft sentence

    Are these called 'cleft sentence'?:

    I want respect.This is all.
    -All (that) I want is respect.
    -The only thing (that) I want is respect.

    You need discipline.This is the only thing.
    -The only thing (that) you need is discipline.
    -All (that) you need is discipline.
    Last edited by adrenalinman; 19-Apr-2017 at 22:24. Reason: full stop

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: cleft sentence

    There are multiple full stops missing in your post. Please click on Edit Post and ensure that every sentence ends with a full stop.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: cleft sentence

    No, they are not clefts, though they are related structures and similar in meaning to pseudo–clefts (see below).

    The crucial property of clefts is that they contain a kind of relative construction: a relative clause in it-clefts, or a 'fused' relative construction in pseudo clefts.

    Most clefts are of the it-cleft kind, as in It was a brand new car that Ed bought. The other kind, the so-called pseudo-cleft, has a fused relative as subject, as in What I need is a holiday.

    Your examples are clearly not it-clefts, and the subjects are not fused relatives but general noun phrases with an integrated relative clause as modifier, so that rules them out as being pseudo-clefts.

    The meaning similarity I mentioned can be seen in these pairs:

    What I want is respect (pseudo-cleft) ~ All I want is respect (non-cleft)
    What you need is discipline (pseudo-cleft) ~ All you need is discipline (non-cleft)

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