END WEIGHT & END FOCUS
The general order of elements in a
The fact that many doctors who came to Finland in the 1960's had to start their medical studies over from the beginning in order to be licensed to practice here is unfortunate.
The principle called end weight means that we try to
put long "heavy" elements at the end of the sentence, and keep the subject
as short as possible. In cases such as the sentence above we often use the
"empty subject" it with a complement followed by the "that"
clause:It is unfortunate that
many doctors who came to Finland in the 1960's had to start their
medical studies over from the beginning in order to be licensed to
amazing, apparent, appropriate, clear, doubtful,
Another commonly used construction to avoid front-heavy sentences is the so-called existential sentence, which begins There is/are... and a that-clause.
Thus, instead of:
Many people who believe that the recent warming of the climate is due to the greenhouse effect exist.
There are many people who believe that the recent warming of the climate is due to the greenhouse effect.
Note that in English the verb agrees in number with the noun group used after the verb to be:
There is one thing we can do.
There are three things we can do.
There can also be followed be a few adjectives indicating
likelihood or possibility followed by the infinitive to
There are unlikely to be any problems
Some reporting verbs can also be used this way:
There is expected to be a report issued next month.
A quite formal usage is such verbs as remain, arise, exist