Definition of cleft sentence in English:

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cleft sentence


A sentence in which an element is emphasized by being put in a separate clause with the use of an empty introductory word such as it or that, e.g., it’s money we want; it was today that I saw him; that was the King you were talking to.
Example sentences
  • The first clause of a cleft sentence consists of It, a form of the verb be, and the focused item.
  • They weren't necessarily treating the construction itself as a cleft sentence.
  • Two explanations have been proposed for the formation of the Japanese cleft sentence.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cleft sen·tence

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