Changing the focus of a sentence

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Changing the focus of a sentence

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Changing the focus of a sentence

  1. 1. Changing the Focus of a Sentence
  2. 2. Changing the Focus of a SentenceIn most affirmative clauses, the subject of theverb comes first.They went to Australia in 1956.I’ve no idea who it was.
  3. 3. Changing the Focus of a SentenceHowever, when you want to emphasizeanother part of the sentence, you can put thatpart first instead.In 1956 they went to Australia.Who it was I have no idea.
  4. 4. Changing the Focus of a SentenceOne common way of giving emphasis is byplacing an adverbial at the beginning of asentence.At eight o’clock I went down for my breakfast.For years I’d had to hide what I was thinking.
  5. 5. Changing the Focus of a SentenceNote: After adverbials of place and negativeadverbials, you normally put the subject afterthe verb.She rang the bell for Sylvia. In came a girlshe had not seen before.On no account must they be let in.
  6. 6. Changing the Focus of a SentenceAfter adverbials of place, you can also put thesubject before the verb. You must do so if thesubject is a pronoun.The door opened and in she came.He’d chosen Japan, so off we went to theJapanese Embassy.
  7. 7. Changing the Focus of a SentenceWhen you want to say that you do not knowsomething, you can put a reported question atthe beginning of a sentence.What I’m going to do next I don’t quite know.How he managed I can’t imagine.
  8. 8. Changing the Focus of a SentenceAnother way of focusing on information is touse a structure which introduces what youwant to say by using ‘the’ and a noun,followed by ‘is’. The nouns most commonlyused in this way are:answer point rule troubleconclusion problem solution truthfact question thing
  9. 9. Changing the Focus of a SentenceThe second part of the sentence is usually a‘that’-clause or a ‘which’-clause, although itcan also be a ‘to’-infinitive clause or a noungroup.The problem is that they can’t cook.The thing is, how are we going to get her out?The solution is to adopt the policy which willproduce the greatest benefits.
  10. 10. Changing the Focus of a SentenceIt is also common to use a whole sentence tointroduce information in following sentences.
  11. 11. Changing the Focus of a SentenceYou can also focus on information by usingimpersonal ‘it’ followed by ‘be’, a noun group,and a relative clause.It was Ted who broke the news to me.It is usually the other vehicle that suffersmost.
  12. 12. Changing the Focus of a SentenceIt’s money that they want.It was me Dookie wanted.
  13. 13. Changing the Focus of a SentenceThere are many other ways of focusing oninformation:Ted was the one who broke the news to me.Money is what we want.What we want is money.
  14. 14. Changing the Focus of a SentenceYou can also focus on information given in theother parts of the clause, or the whole clause,using impersonal ‘it’. In this case, the secondpart of the sentence is a ‘that’-clause.It was from Francis that she first heard thenews.It was meeting Peter that really started me offon this new line of work.
  15. 15. Questions?For more slide presentations visit:

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