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"It's the little things that bring me the most joy."

Is the above sentence grammatically correct? I know it is not the best way to express the given message. That is not my question. My questions is: if someone made the above statement, would she be discreetly violating any rules of grammar? For some reason I get the impression that the verb does not agree with the subject, but i am not sure. Should it be "they are" the little things that bring me the most joy?

Thanks,

. Ken
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Comments  
It is a correct sentence.
With 'it is' you refer to sg. In this case you refer to all the little things which make you happy.
Never say: 'they are,'

Inchoate
InchoateknowledgeNever say: 'they are,'
Did you mean this as: Don't say "They are the little things in life..." versus "It is the little things in life..."?
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Grammar Geek
InchoateknowledgeNever say: 'they are,'
Did you mean this as: Don't say "They are the little things in life..." versus "It is the little things in life..."?
Is correct to say "they are the.." in this context?
Dear teachers:

Why not "It's the little things that brings me the most joy." ?

Blues
Hi,

I don't think it is right to say, "They are the little things in life," but it is right to say, "It is the little things in life." Why?

I think the answer lies with the structure of the sentence and I think It is here is here for/as much of a convenient sake without having a real importance, like the sentence, "It is good."
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
This is called the cleft construction. This pattern is created from a sentence arranged in normal word order by rearranging it thus:

It [ is/was/ ...] highlighted element [that/who] ....

It
and a singular form of be are absolutely required.

Starting from The little things bring me the most joy, and making the little things the highlighted element, we have:

It is the little things that bring me the most joy. (cleft structure)

Compare, noting how three different elements may be chosen for highlighting in this example sentence:

John and Mary brought the table into the living room. (sentence to be rearranged into cleft structures)

It was John and Mary who brought the table into the living room.
It was the table that John and Mary brought into the living room.
It was into the living room that John and Mary brought the table.


CJ

Jim, that is the best explanation I've seen on cleft sentences since I started coming here. Even I get it now!
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