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phr. it is... that... (used to express emphasis)
Discussion of ...是...的
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This structure is use to put an emphasis on particularly the time, locale or manner of a completed action.
Emphasising the time when the action happened:
E.g. 1a 我是昨天来的。 [phr] It was yesterday when I came (here).
E.g. 1b 我不是昨天来的。[phr] It was not yesterday when I came (here).
Emphasising the location where the action took place:
E.g. 2 她是在哪儿学的汉语？ [phr] (emphasis) Where did she study Chinese?
Emphasising the manner in which the action was carried out:
E.g. 3a 他是坐飞机来的。 [phr] He came by plane.
E.g. 3b 你们是怎么认识的？ [phr] How did you happen to know each other?
If we take a look at the examples above, we will discover that 是 usually precedes the time, place or manner which is to be emphasised. 的 is put at the end of the sentence.
In an affirmative sentence which has a subject, 是 can be omitted. E.g. 1a can also become: 我昨天来的. However, in the negative form, 是 must be used (look at E.g. 1b).
In such sentences, the stress should fall on the adverbial adjunct of time, place or manner that is emphasized. Please note that in these sentences 是...的 cannot coexist with 了.
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