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Some examples of what I mean:

  • "What the eggs are for, is to prepare the cake."
  • "What my husband is, is a nice guy."
  • "What a bird is, is a kind of animal."
  • "Where the station is, is close to the Centre"

I am not sure if this is something I am just misusing from the Spanish.

closed as off-topic by GoldenGremlin, FumbleFingers, Edwin Ashworth, NVZ, Helmar Nov 1 '16 at 15:40

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    Yes, no problem. – Drew Nov 1 '16 at 14:31
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    Possible duplicate of "The thing is, is that..." – FumbleFingers Nov 1 '16 at 14:51
  • Possible duplicate of "The thing is, is that...", but an exactly similar example is given at 'What's up with "is, is"?' (this is actually referred to as the is-is usage). – Edwin Ashworth Nov 1 '16 at 15:09
  • Few people would have problems with 'What it was remains a mystery' ... 'What it was is still not known'. 'What it is is a mystery' just sounds clumsy. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 1 '16 at 15:14
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    @rauldg Yes, it's fine. These are all pseudo-cleft constructions, as J Lawler points out in his answer. The only thing I would add to his answer is that the backgrounded material is placed in a fused relative construction where fused "what" effectively means "that/the thing(s) which", e.g. "The thing which the eggs are for is to prepare the cake". Normally a comma between subject and verb is inadmissible, but in examples like your last three, the rule is relaxed to prevent any confusion that might be caused by two tokens of the verb-form "is" – BillJ Nov 1 '16 at 18:02
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These are examples of a kind of sentence called a Wh-Cleft (aka Pseudocleft) construction.
They are constructed from a simpler sentence and mean the same thing. E.g,

  • I want him to trim the hedge. =Wh-Cleft=> What I want him to do is (to) trim the hedge.

  • He told me (that) it was raining. =Wh-Cleft=> What he told me was (that) it was raining.

  • Bill's wearing the/a white sweater. =Wh-Cleft=> What Bill's wearing is the/a white sweater.

Wh-Clefts are very complicated and have many arbitrary restrictions. For instance, cleft sentences insert a form of be as a fulcrum between the two cloven pieces, and therefore they are reversible around that fulcrum of cleavage:

The/A white sweater is what Bill's wearing.

They are part of a family of Cleft constructions, like the It-Cleft:

  • Bill's wearing the/a white sweater. =It-Cleft=> It's the/a white sweater (that) Bill's wearing.
  • Bill's wearing the/a white sweater. =It-Cleft=> It's Bill (that's/who's) wearing the/a white sweater.
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In English it is very common to use question words in declarative sentences. In fact, it's unavoidable given that we use question words like who, what, where, and which as relative pronouns in relative clauses. Consider the following declarative sentences:

  • She was the girl who broke my heart.
  • I want the one which is tastiest.
  • Paris is the place where I live.

In each of these sentences, the question word starts a relative clause.

These are examples of bound relative clauses, that is, relative clauses which have an antecedent ("She", "the one", and "Paris", respectively).

Your examples of:

  • What the eggs are for, is to prepare the cake."
  • What my husband is, is a nice guy."
  • What a bird is, is a kind of animal."
  • Where the station is, is close to the Centre"

contain free relative clauses, that is, relative clauses that don't have an antecedent. In these examples, the relative clauses function as free-standing noun-phrase subjects of the sentences.

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