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Cleft sentences and use of English



 
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Cleft sentences and use of English #1 (permalink) Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:50 am   Cleft sentences and use of English
 

Hi everyone,
I'm kind of struggling over some uses of 'cleft' sentences.
My questions is whether I can set off a sentence by using a wh- word:
1. Where I want to go is NY
or should I say
2.The place (where) I want to go is NY.
As in: Yes, but where I want to go is NY, and not...
1. Why he wants to do it is not clear to me.
2. The reason (why) he wants to do it is not clear to me.

Would n.1 be correct at all, or just in an oral colloquial register...?
The grammars I've checked seem to agree that the only wh- word that can take such role in a sentence is what, but at the same time fail to condemn the use of other wh- words in such position.

Thanks a lot
Manelj
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Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 9
Location: Barcelona

Cleft sentences and use of English #2 (permalink) Tue Sep 27, 2011 13:48 pm   Cleft sentences and use of English
 

1. Where I want to go is NY-- Yes, this is OK.
2.The place (where) I want to go is NY.-- This is OK, too.

1. Why he wants to do it is not clear to me.-- This is fine.
2. The reason (why) he wants to do it is not clear to me.- This is fine, too. A few grammarians (including me) think that 'reason why' is usually redundant and will take one point off your essay score.

These are all perfectly fine:

Where I want to go is NY.
Why I want to go is none of your business.
When I want to go is early September
How I want to go is by Amtrak.
Who I want to go with is that cute little blonde in our English class.

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Cleft sentences and use of English #3 (permalink) Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:03 am   Cleft sentences and use of English
 

Thanks a lot for your quick reply, Mister Micawber.
Very clear illustrative examples
Manelj
New Member


Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 9
Location: Barcelona

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