Grammar in EAP

Cleft Sentence

cleft sentence consists of two parts, often starting with "it" or "wh-". For example "It was the lecturer who started the experiment."It-clefts are relatively frequent in acdemic texts (Biber, Johansson, Leech, Conrad & Finegan, 1999, p. 959). Wh-clefts - "What I object to is violence on TV" are most common ion conversation.

It-cleft sentences are common in academic writing. For example

It was this government which ruled Britain until May 1940, when yet another coalition, governed Britain until 1945.

Both continued to develop; but it was the commemoration of the martyrs that came to swamp the Christian calendar during the fourth century.

The purpose is to focus on one part of the clause.

It was the conservative government that increased the taxes. (it-cleft)

What the conservative government did was increase the taxes. (wh-cleft)

Identify the focussed element in these sentences:

 Grammar: EAP Exercises Cohesion

  1. For it was the general election of 1931 which so drastically altered the balance of parties in the House of Commons.

  2. It was on the King's suggestion that the Cabinet considered including a plea to unite.

  3. It was generally believed that they were proposing to seek an electoral pact with the Conservatives.

  4. It was for this reason that he felt compelled to offer the Liberals the alternative vote.

  5. It was recognized by all concerned that it would take at least three for any of the Brabazon types to come into production.

  6. It was not until 1838 that there was general acceptance that the two diseases were distinct.

  7. But, though it was Euclid's method that first inspired him, the subject-matter of geometry also caught his interest and was something he worked on throughout his life.

  8. There is, however, one way in which A's intentions can be given validity at least in part, and it was this route which was followed: the senate ruled that a provision of this sort could be interpreted as a trust on B to make over A's estate to C.

  9. It was in part to answer these questions that the California State Legislature in the Autumn of 1976 passed a law called the Natural Death Act.

  10. It was by stressing the chance element in destiny that he was led to the hedonistic philosophy of "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!"

Answer: Cleft Sentences Exercise Answer


Back to Grammar in EAP Exercises Cohesion