2

Are all of the following sentences correct:

  1. It is me who made you happy.
  2. It is you that broke the pen.
  3. It is a poem which you read.
  4. It was Monday when you called me.
  5. It was my room where he hid.
  6. It was her stupidity why I did not like her.
  7. It was her stupidity what I did not like.
2

Either "who" or "that" would suffice for most cases of it-cleft sentences you might encounter.

In some situations the two clauses are interchangeable, often leading to heated debates on whether to use one over the other.

i.e. It was I who made you into the man you are today! vs It was I that made you into the man you are today!

There are scenarios when you might consider omitting the clause entirely, for the sake of conciseness.

i.e. It was her stupidity that I did not like. vs It was her stupidity I did not like.

Another thing worth mentioning: Sequence of Tenses

"As long as the main clause's verb is in neither the past nor the past perfect tense, the verb of the subordinate clause can be in any tense that conveys meaning accurately. When the main clause verb is in the past or past perfect, however, the verb in the subordinate clause must be in the past or past perfect. The exception to this rule is when the subordinate clause expresses what is commonly known as a general truth."

As a fellow non-native speaker, here's my take on how to transform the sentences from your list of examples so they'd have a nice, natural ring to them.

  1. It was I who/that made you happy.
  2. It was you who/that broke the pen.
  3. It was a poem (that) you read.
  4. It was on Monday (that) you called me.
  5. It was my room (that) he hid in.
  6. and 7. It was her stupidity (that) I did not like.

The parentheses are there to emphasise the possible omission of the that clause.

Try to imagine the sentences without the clause, and you will see (that) they retain their original meaning and integrity.

  • Are sentences 6 and 7 correct as they are? – Kaptan Singh Nov 6 '14 at 8:31
  • I dare say so, certainly. – Yavor Voynov Nov 6 '14 at 8:40
  • I am sorry. I couldn't get you. Do you mean, Certainly, they are correct, or certainly, they are not correct? – Kaptan Singh Nov 6 '14 at 8:43
  • I apologize for the confusion. Yes, they are correct. – Yavor Voynov Nov 6 '14 at 8:45
  • I think 6 is ungrammatical and 7 might be a possibility, but is not common. Look at the following revisions: 6. It was because of her stupidity that I did not like her. 7. It was her stupidity that I did not like. – Kaptan Singh Nov 6 '14 at 8:53
1

We do not use who or that when describing where something or someone is placed or located.

Try this:

  1. It was my room in which he hid.

For sentences 6 and 7 ("It was her stupidity (that) I did not like"):

If we were talking, and I said, "What about her didn't you like, her stupidity or her overall personality?" You might answer, "It was her stupidity that I did not like." Or one might simply say, "It was her stupidity I did not like."

-3

My first suggestion is don't write "It-cleft" sentences. Try these instead:

  1. I made you happy.

  2. You broke the pen.

  3. The poem was one you read. You read the poem (needs context)

  4. You called me Monday.

  5. He hid in my room.

  6. Her stupidity made me dislike her.

  7. I did not like her stupidity.

  • 2
    This does not address the question. There are sometimes good reasons to choose it-clefts. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 17 '16 at 12:34

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