cleft sentence

noun

Definition of cleft sentence

: a sentence that emphasizes one part of a simple sentence (as “Kathy likes cognac”) typically by transforming it into two clauses with the noun phrase to be emphasized in the first clause if it begins with it (as in “It is cognac that Kathy likes” or “It is Kathy who likes cognac”) or following a form of be if the first clause begins with what (as in “What Kathy likes is cognac”)

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Cite this Entry

“Cleft sentence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cleft%20sentence. Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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