Omit "it is" in cleft sentences


Senior Member
Hi teachers, I have a question here about cleft sentences. I have a sentence below that I think the "it is" part is omitted. Am I right? Does it still preserve the emphasis effect when expressing like this?
--the Eye of Sargeras--contains all the power I'll need to rid this wretched world of my enemies once and for all. Ironic that you should be its first victim.
The whole context is here if you teachers need it.
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I wouldn't say it's a cleft sentence. You're right that "it is" has been omitted.

    We often prefer to say It's ironic that you should be its first victim, rather than forming a somewhat unnatural-sounding sentence with a that clause as grammatical subject: That you should be its first victim is ironic.


    Senior Member
    Right. It's extraposition rather than a cleft sentence. Extraposition switches things around (pushing the that-clause toward the back) and introduces "dummy it" as subject and "auxiliary be" to mark tense. Since these are grammatical elements (part of the skeleton of the sentence) with no meaning, dummy it and auxiliary be can be dropped.