......  

END WEIGHT & END FOCUS 

The general order of elements in a sentence is:

subject - verb - object/complement/adverbial(s)

Sometimes the subject is a very long phrase explaining an idea and would make a sentence difficult to understand (the subject is marked in bold text):

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 practice here.

This construction works with several adjectives in addition to "unfortunate".
Some others are:

    amazing, apparent, appropriate, clear, doubtful, essential, evident, 
    extraordinary, important, inevitable, interesting, likely, natural, 
    obvious, odd, plain, possible, probable, surprising, and unlikely

 

Most reporting verbs can also be used in this type of construction in the passive form:

	It was found/felt/agreed that this method had little effect.
      

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. 
 

English prefers:

	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 be:

      There are unlikely to be any problems

There seems to have been some negligence.

There tend to be very few failures.

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 and 
a few others:

 

         There remain three major problems to solve.

 

Note also that new information is put at the end of sentences and 'given' information is put at the beginning. This links sentences together more tightly and produces a text that is easier to read.