A pseudo-cleft sentence is a kind of cleft sentence in which the subordinated clause is a relative clause headed by an interrogative pro-form. In English they are of the form:
- wh-relative clause + be + X
X can be a constituent of one of many varieties.
The so-called 'inverted' pseudo-cleft sentence reverses the order of the two constituents:
- X + be + wh-relative clause
|What John gave to Mary were flowers||Flowers were what John gave to Mary.|
This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library. Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003.