cleft sentence + it

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boggiee

Senior Member
Turkish
Hi,

What I need is some money.
Where she was going was not known.

I'd like to ask if I can write this sentence like:

It is some money what I need.
It was not known where she was going.

The second, I think' sounds OK, but cannot make sure of the first one. Are they OK?

Thanks.
 
  • billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hi,

    I'd like to ask if I can write this sentence like:

    It is some money what I need.
    It was not known where she was going.

    The second, I think' sounds OK, but cannot make sure of the first one. Are they OK?

    Thanks.
    As tunnafi said, your example with "what" is wrong. The reason is that "what" is not ordinarily allowed in Standard English to introduce relative clauses. Only the subordinator "that" can do that.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    It is some money what I need.
    It was not known where she was going.

    The second, I think' sounds OK, but cannot make sure of the first one. Are they OK?

    Thanks.
    I think the second of yours is also wrong.

    It looks like the second in the following sentences.

    What he said was not reasonable.
    * It was not reasonable what he said. (I think it is wrong)
     
    Last edited:

    billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think the second of yours is also wrong.

    It looks like the second in the following sentences.

    What he said was not reasonable.
    * It was not reasonable what he said. (I think it is wrong)
    [1] It was not known where she was going.
    [2] It was not reasonable what he said.

    These are fine: they are both extrapositional constructions involving the extraposition of the underlined subordinate interrogative clauses (embedded questions).
     

    tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    [1] It was not known where she was going.
    [2] It was not reasonable what he said.

    These are fine: they are both extrapositional constructions involving the extraposition of the underlined subordinate interrogative clauses (embedded questions).
    I can see how [1] can be an extrapositional construction equivalent to of Where she was going was not known, and that there is an embedded question "Where was she going?" However, while [2] can be an extrapositional construction of What he said was unreasonable, I see no embedded question. This what is not at any stage interrogative. It seems to me that it is a fused relative, and that it does not work in [2].
     
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