I'm writing a paper about Donald Trump's speaking style and he frequently says sentences like the following:

"They wanna be in the United States of America. That’s where they wanna be."

"We’re gonna send you reinforcements and we’re gonna send them to you quickly. That’s what we’ll do."

What would be the correct linguistic term to describe the sentences in bold? I figure they are some kind of cleft construction, but I'm not sure and would be very happy if somebody could help.


  • Looks like an ordinary unmarked sentence to me.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 26, 2018 at 21:18

2 Answers 2


"X is wh-relative clause" is an inverted pseudo-cleft: https://glossary.sil.org/term/pseudo-cleft-sentence.

The X is itself a sentential anaphor, and the relative clause predicate restates the previous statement predicate; so the whole sentence is a restatement of the preceding statement, and does not introduce any new information (something uncharacteristic of cleft constructions). You could call it a pseudo-cleft tautology, perhaps.


Looking at these sentences from a figures of speech point of view, one may call this structure a syntactic pleonasm.

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