In British English you'll often hear them post-fixing expressions that American English tends to keep up front.

For example, I've heard British English speakers (golf commentators in particular) say things like "It looks easy, that shot."

That sounds a bit odd to my American ears, and I take it that construction isn't common to American English. We seem to prefer "That shot looks easy".

What is this linguistic phenomenon called?

  • 1
    Also, please feel free to add more appropriate tags, I'm not sure how to tag this question. Is it one about syntax?
    – Dennis
    Feb 15, 2013 at 23:16
  • 3
    Why do you think it only happens in BrE? I think I've heard it in other languages too.
    – Alenanno
    Feb 15, 2013 at 23:29
  • @Alenanno Oh, I didn't mean to suggest that it was the only language where this occurs. This was just the salient example for me.
    – Dennis
    Feb 15, 2013 at 23:33
  • Ah, my bad, sorry. :D I had that impression when reading it. :)
    – Alenanno
    Feb 15, 2013 at 23:34
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    Is this an example of cataphora?
    – Dennis
    Feb 16, 2013 at 0:49

1 Answer 1


This rule is known as Right-Dislocation; it moves the subject to the end of the sentence, leaving behind a coreferential pronoun. There is a corresponding Left-Dislocation, as well, that inserts a pronoun as the subject. Both constructions are accompanied by specific intonation contours, marked with commas; more on these syntactic rules, and similar rules of English, on page 4 here.

  • It looks easy, that shot. ~ That shot looks easy. ~ That shot, it looks easy.

The beginning and the end of a sentence are the two most prominent positions available; thus there are dozens of English syntactic rules that have the effect of moving some important word or construction to either the beginning or the end of a sentence, under specific circumstances.

Dislocated constructions, like most constructions that indicate speaker attitude by intonation, are features of speech, rather than writing.

Oh, and dislocation is not a feature of British English. It's all over the US, for instance.

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