how to understand the quasi-cleft sentence “it is …to which….who”?

From "Qualified Homage to Thoreau" by Wallace Stegner: It is Thoreau the moralizing enemy of the tradition to which he owes all his own authority who puts me off. At first glance, it looks like a cleft sentence. But then I feel like there is something different, shouldn’t it be "It is Thoreau who is … Read more

What does “it” stand for?

The faeces contain nitrogen and it is that which fertilises the desert soil. source: A collection of a bunch of sentences What does “it” stand for? I’m considering two possibilities: 1, “it” refers to nitrogen. And “that which” can be replaced by “what”. 2, “it is….which…” work together to make the cleft sentence construction. Answer … Read more

“Often” as complement of BE

Often is an adverb according to Oxford Dictionaries Online. ADVERB 1 Frequently; many times. ‘he often goes for long walks by himself’ ‘how often do you have your hair cut?’ 1.1 In many instances. ‘vocabulary often reflects social standing’ As an adverb, it should not be a complement of BE as this answer explains and … Read more

Personal Pronouns and complement of verb be

Which personal pronouns are complement of verb be? First example: A: It was him who broke the window pane. or B: It was he who broke the window pane. Second example: C: It’s me. Can you open the door? I haven’t got my key or D: It’s I. Can you open the door? I haven’t … Read more

Why “that” is used instead of “they”?

The others figure it was Rocket that took them, and they’re all pissed off. Source I always say, they took my pen or they took my umbrella. but here that sounds like: non living being came to life and took something. Answer Because ‘that’ is a relative pronoun in this context, and relative pronouns can … Read more

“that’s all this analysis will tell us is”

“I don’t really have an opinion of whether Steven Avery is innocent or guilty,” Spalding says in the piece. “I have more of an opinion of whether I think there’s been planted evidence or not and ultimately that’s all this analysis will tell us is whether or not this evidence is planted.” Source: I … Read more