Abraham Lincoln, our 16th U.S. president, was assassinated by ...

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  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The subject of the sentence is Lincoln, and so one might assume that the emphasis is on him. However, in speech, it is possible to place the emphasis on any of the main words, including the verb "was". You have introduced bold print into the sentence, which was not there originally; in the original there was no particular emphasis.
     

    shorty1

    Senior Member
    Korean
    The subject of the sentence is Lincoln, and so one might assume that the emphasis is on him. However, in speech, it is possible to place the emphasis on any of the main words, including the verb "was". You have introduced bold print into the sentence, which was not there originally; in the original there was no particular emphasis.


    "Abraham Lincoln, our 16th U.S. president assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865."

    Thank you so much, Keith Bradford. :)

    Sorry for making you confused. :eek:

    I get it.

    I have one more question.


    "John Wilkes Booth assassinated our 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865."

    In the above sentence, the emphasis is the subject 'John Wilkes Booth', right?

    I think you mean whether it is in passive voice or in active voice, the emphasis is generally put on the subject.


    My understanding is right?

    If not, please correct me.
     
    Last edited:

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ...I think you mean whether it is in passive voice or in active voice, the emphasis is generally put on the subject...
    Very generally speaking, yes.

    But in English there are many other ways of expressing emphasis, such as:

    Word-order: On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, our 16th U.S. president was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
    Extra phrase: It was John Wilkes Booth who assassinated our 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865.
    Change of verb form: John Wilkes Booth did assassinate our 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865.
    Italic typeface: John Wilkes Booth assassinated our16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865.

    Any of these can overrule the normal expectation.
     

    shorty1

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Very generally speaking, yes.

    But in English there are many other ways of expressing emphasis, such as:

    Word-order: On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, our 16th U.S. president was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
    Extra phrase: It was John Wilkes Booth who assassinated our 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865.
    Change of verb form: John Wilkes Booth did assassinate our 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865.
    Italic typeface: John Wilkes Booth assassinated our16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865.

    Any of these can overrule the normal expectation.

    Thank you so much for explaining this in detail. :)

    I've understood what you mean.

    This has been very helpful. :thumbsup:
     
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