Definition of cleft sentence in English:

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.

    • ‘They weren't necessarily treating the construction itself as a cleft sentence.’
    • ‘The first clause of a cleft sentence consists of It, a form of the verb be, and the focused item.’
    • ‘You can move it to the front of a cleft sentence.’
    • ‘Two explanations have been proposed for the formation of the Japanese cleft sentence.’