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Mini-lesson Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 Rating Form
Mini-lesson What are Emphatic Structures and why do we use them? As their name implies, emphatic structures add emphasis to a subject in a sentence in one of three ways.
  1. Inversion
    • Simple way to remember: NOT SVO but VSO. This structure is common with negative adverbs.
    • Examples:
      • I have never been so offended in my life. = Never in my life have I been so offended.
      • If Sam had known she likes cats, he would have brought her to a cat café = Had Sam known she likes cats, he would have brought her to a cat café.
  2. Fronting
    • Some 'element' (adjective, adverbial phrase, etc) goes to the FRONT of the sentence.
    • Examples:
      • In total panic the deer shot out of the woods. = Out of the woods the deer shot, in total panic.
      • I was so happy that I couldn't sleep. = So happy I was that I couldn't sleep.
      • The phone dropped onto the floor. = On the floor the phone dropped.
  3. Cleft Sentences
    • This is the hardest of the three but basically it means cutting one clause (or sentence) into TWO, again to emphasise a PART of a sentence. There are two types;
      • IT – Clefts
      • WH – Clefts
-IT – Clefts :

Pattern: It + be + underlined word/phrase + that/who clause

Sentence The python ate a deer in the forest last night.
Subject as focus It was the python that ate a deer in the forest last night.
Object as focus It was a deer that the python ate in the forest last night.
Time as focus It was last night that the python ate a deer in the forest.
Place as focus It was in the forest that the python ate the deer last night

-WH – Clefts :
  • Examples:
    • We'd like to inspect your kitchens. = What we'd like is to inspect your kitchens.
    • The companies maximise their profits. = What the companies do is maximise their profits.
Inversion/Fronting Task 1) Rewrite the sentences starting with the suggested word

  1. My father never ate ice-cream.
    Never did my father eat ice-cream.
  2. Young people have never thought about their actions and its consequences.
    Never have young people thought about their actions and consequences.
  3. There were a great number of bees in the hive.
    A great number of bees there were in the hive.
  4. Joy seldom visits her parents during her holidays.
    Seldom does Joy visit her parents during her holidays.
  5. She was so happy to have passed the examinations.
    So happy she was to have she passed the examinations.
  6. He was the richest person before his death.
    The richest person he was before his death.
  7. The Ebola virus is spreading so fast that I’m sure it will reach Hong Kong soon.
    So fast the Ebola virus is spreading that I’m sure it will reach Hong Kong soon.
  8. The mosquito was very annoying.
    Very annoying the mosquito was.
  9. She became a teacher after she left America.
    Only after she left America did she become a teacher.
  10. The weather was so hot that we decided to go to the beach.
    So hot was the weather that we decided to go to the beach.
  11. I finally understood what she was on about after a few slides.
    Only after a few slides did I finally understand what she was on about.
  12. If you had been treated properly, you wouldn’t be here right now.
    Had you been treated properly, you wouldn’t be here right now.
  13. He ate chocolate ice-cream immediately.
    The chocolate ice-cream he immediately ate.
  14. They want to go to Las Vegas one day.
    One day they want to go to Las Vegas.
Cleft Sentences Task 2) Identify the number of ways the sentence can be written with the IT cleft and rewrite the sentences.

  1. Simon studied Linguistics at the University of Texas. (It was)
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  2. Kenny hated the party because of the balloons. (It was)
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  3. When I got home I realised I hadn’t left any food for the cat.
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  4. I don’t like the smile of his. (It is)
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  5. Freedom is what the younger generation are talking about nowadays. (It is)
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  6. We are looking for the princess. (It)
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
  7. Mary gave the puppy some milk for dinner. (It was)
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
Task 3) Rewrite using WHAT cleft
  1. We need to focus on defence rather than offence to win this game.
    What we need to do is to focus on defence rather than offence to win this game.
  2. You should go home and study.
    What you should do is go home and study.
  3. She always pretends to be a kind person in front of the teachers.
    What she always does is pretend to be a kind person in front of the teachers.
  4. I love the Maldives because of its tranquillity.
    What I love about the Maldives is its tranquillity.
  5. I want to sing carols on Christmas Eve.
    What I want to do on Christmas Eve is sing carols.
  6. I wish we can go to the park for Christmas Eve.
    What I wish is that we can go to the park for Christmas Eve.
  7. The incident caused him to become a loner.
    What the incident caused was for him was to become a loner.
  8. The dog barked at the thief.
    What the dog did was bark at the thief.
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