We usually say:

"It is ME who killed Bill", which stresses the subject, or,

"It is HIM who you should see", which stresses the object, or,

"It is At 1972 that he dropped out. ", which stresses the adverbial;

but can we stress the predictive or the compliment? Can we say:

"It is A GIRL that I am" or

"It is A CROOK that Jim is called"?

I know they look strange, but are they correct or incorrect?

  • 1
    They're correct. And they're no stranger than the rest of these hyperbations. They're all designed to call attention to themselves through strangeness (also, not "it is at 1972", but "it was during 1972"). – Dan Bron Oct 3 '15 at 10:35
  • 2
    But these it-clefts are rare as hen's teeth. You'd encounter emphasis by word order reversals far more often like this: "A crook is what they were calling him." or "A girl is what I am." or "What I am is a girl." – TRomano Oct 3 '15 at 13:24
  • Sounds very Irish-English to me (AmE) – Mitch Nov 29 '15 at 22:59

Yes, these (a girl / a crook) are absolutely correct constructions.

However, note that if you have a sentence of the form "It is..." then the predicate noun should be in the nominative/subjective case. Thus your first examples should be:

  • It is I who killed Bill.
  • It is HE whom you should see.

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