Cleft sentence or regular word order?

maicart

Senior Member
Spanish, Spain
Hello,

I'm not sure whether both these possibilities are correct:

a) It was in this way that the folk rock sound represented by the famous song "Like A Rolling Stone" appeared.
b) It was in this way that appeared the folk rock sound represented by the famous song "Like A Rolling Stone".

a) Follows regular word order. However, I felt there was too much information before the final verb appeared. This is why I thought about b), which is sort of a cleft sentence.

What do you think?
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It does not work, in my opinion, but there is no need to put "appeared" at the end. It can immediately follow the head noun of the subject:
    It was in this way that the folk rock sound appeared, represented by the famous song "Like A Rolling Stone".​
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Cleaving a sentence (1) doesn't trigger subject-verb inversion. Perhaps you are thinking of fronting, with a negative expression (2) moved to the beginning of the sentence.

    The folk rock sound appeared in this way.
    1 It was in this way that the folk rock sound appeared.

    The folk rock sound never appeared in this way.

    2 Never did the folk rock sound appear in this way.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    a) is the natural way to say it (except that appeared is an odd choice of word for a sound ;)). However, some punctuation would help to break it up:

    It was in this way that the folk rock sound, in the form of the famous song "Like A Rolling Stone", first emerged.
     
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