Cleft sentence in the future: "It will be ..."?

Stephanagreg

Senior Member
FRANCE FRENCH
Hello,

Could someone tell me whether the verb BE in a cleft sentence containing WILL is supposed to be used with WILL as well (in the same way as it occurs in its preterit form when the sentence is in the preterit).

In other words,

It was him who did it is OK ; but is

It's him who will do it correct ?

and what about

It'll be him who will do it ?

Many thanks in advance.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    You may find It is he who ... useful.

    (1) It was him who did it is OK ; but is
    The normal sentence is - He did it.
    Cleft version - It was he who did it.

    (2) It's him who will do it correct ?
    Normal - He will do it.
    Cleft - It is he who will do it.

    and what about
    (3) It'll be him who will do it ?
    It will be he who will do it?
    Good question. What is the non-cleft version of this sentence?

    I'm not sure about the difference between (2) and (3).

    ... and what about
    (4) It will be he who does it?
     

    Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    N3 sounds a bit strange to me. I would somehow feel the need to correct it. I guess, what you mean is: he will be the one who will do it?
    I think the rephrasing points to reason for the strangeness: is he not already the one who will do it? As it stands, I have visions of a science fiction plot in which a person becomes someone else, then does something. :D
     

    Stephanagreg

    Senior Member
    FRANCE FRENCH
    Thanks a lot to all of you. As a matter of fact, French people tend to overuse cleft sentences because of the high frequency of such constructions in French. I met n°3 in an essay, and I wanted to make sure it sounded strange to native ears.

    [Edit] Argh ! An English native speaker has just told me that (2) It's him who will do it and 3) It'll be him who will do it both sound fine to him. I am puzzled again.
     
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