FOCUS

Focussing on certain elements of a sentence over others (giving prominence to a part) is usually done by arranging the elements in an unusual way.

‘would rather’ | ‘it’s time’ + PAST TENSE CLAUSE

Here we look at examples of using ‘the past tense’ in a way that is not referring to past time.  In these EXPERT EXAMPLES: It’s time we started to think about the environment and a little bit less about money. Isle of Man Newspapers As an environmentalist, we would rather that didn’t happen. TED ‘the past tense’ expresses a wish that is distanced from the real situation. In reality, they are not thinking …

‘would rather’ | ‘it’s time’ + PAST TENSE CLAUSE Read More »

Note | Notice | See (focus)

Within a text or speech, we can use imperatives to point to its parts for the reader or listener to focus on. For example:

SEE the section on the presence of issues below.
NOTE the lack of a safety manual.
NOTICE the difference between these two charts.

NOT ONLY + present perfect continuous (inversion) + BUT

Adverb expressions such as ‘not only’, ‘not just’, and ‘not simply’ emphasize that something is true, but it is not the whole truth.  These co-ordinate clauses. In the English Grammar Profile, C2 point 92 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect continuous, invert the subject and affirmative auxiliary verb with ‘not only … but’ …

NOT ONLY + present perfect continuous (inversion) + BUT Read More »

only | just (focus)

In the English Grammar Profile, A2 point 32 in the category of ADVERBS/ as modifiers: limited range of adverbs (‘only’, ‘just’) to focus on or point to something PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: (referring to the eating of dog meat) Therefore, it is just an act of eating. Korean male level 4 writing class. A search in iWeb for: it_P _*Z only|just …

only | just (focus) Read More »

THE ONE(S) THAT + clause (focus)

Here are two examples of ‘focus’ in English grammar, using ‘the one that + clause’ in the subject position: The one that comes in the box,  his colleague told him,  was notorious for making users’ faces itchy and red.   The Wall Street Journal The ones that make you look older,  or even the ones where you turn into a hot dog  are still really engaging.    Mobile Marketing Magazine In the English Grammar Profile, C2 point 114 in the category of PRONOUNS/substitution is defined …

THE ONE(S) THAT + clause (focus) Read More »

Many are the + NOUN + RELATIVE CLAUSE

In the English Grammar Profile, C2 point 117 in the category of PRONOUNS/quantity is defined as: complex noun phrases using an inverted form ‘Many’ + ‘are’ + noun phrase, followed by a relative clause, as a focusing device. FOR EXAMPLE:   NBC News Covid is having a devastating impact on children — and the vaccine won’t …

Many are the + NOUN + RELATIVE CLAUSE Read More »

As for myself

Point 119 in PRONOUNS/reflexive is defined as: ‘as for myself’ as a discourse marker to introduce or focus on a personal opinion. FOR EXAMPLE: As for myself, I have some ideas about where we went wrong this time, and one day I may call on you once more. listen     TechRaptor As for myself, I am an artist in the loosest possible definition of the word; that is to say, I make art. 16 Dec 2020 A search in iWeb corpus for: . As …

As for myself Read More »

the reason why

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 63 in CLAUSES is defined as: THE REASON WHY: defining relative clauses with ‘why’ after ‘reason’, to give an explanation and for focus. *Note that “the reason that…” is B2.  A search in iWeb for: the * reason why 1 THE MAIN REASON WHY 8371 2 THE ONLY REASON WHY …

the reason why Read More »

‘What you see is what you get.’ (CLEFT CLAUSE)

The English Grammar Profile C1 point 10 in the category of FOCUS is defined as: ‘What’ + noun or pronoun + verb phrase as subject + ‘be’, for focus. Note that Pearson lists this point: GSE 59 B2 clauses with ‘What …’ to emphasise the topic or main point. For example: What we need now is a good night’s sleep. What I said was that I don’t need your help. …

‘What you see is what you get.’ (CLEFT CLAUSE) Read More »

whatever | wherever | whenever | however

In the English Vocabulary Profile, ‘Whatever’ is listed as a pronoun at B1 meaning ‘anything’ or ‘everything’, one example they give is: Whatever I say I always seem to get it wrong. This EVP example could be rewritten as: I always seem to get whatever I say wrong.   As a pronoun or a determiner at B2 meaning ‘no difference’: Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy a wonderful summer. It could be rewritten as I hope you enjoy a wonderful summer …

whatever | wherever | whenever | however Read More »