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Fronting in Action: Inspiring Examples of Language Emphasis

Comprehensive Definition, Description, Examples & Rules 

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Introduction to Fronting

Fronting is a practical language strategy that is important for good communication. Understanding fronting meaning and its different forms can help us perfect the skill of emphasising particular parts of a phrase, improving the impact and clarity of our messages.

Definition of Fronting

When a word that would ordinarily occur in a different location is pushed to the front of a phrase for emphasis, this is referred to as fronting in English grammar. Fronting is a sentence structure manipulation technique that allows speakers and writers to emphasise certain aspects and their importance.

Types of Fronting

1. Subject Fronting

Putting the subject of a sentence in front of the verb or verb phrase is known as subject fronting. This reorganisation puts the issue in the centre and emphasises its importance.


  • Regular word order: A beautiful bouquet of flowers lies on the table.
  • Subject fronting: On the table lies a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

The subject “the cat” is fronted in the second sentence, giving it prominence.

2. Object Fronting

Object fronting places the sentence’s object before the subject or verb phrase. The attention is now on the item, emphasising its function or significance, thanks to the change in word order.


  • Regular word order: John ate an apple.
  • Object fronting: An apple John ate.

Here, the object “an apple” is fronted, drawing attention to what John ate.

3. Adverbial Fronting

Moving an adverb or an adverbial phrase to the front of a sentence is known as adverbial fronting. The way, time, location, or degree that the adverb expresses is highlighted in this rearranging.


  • Regular word order: She sang beautifully.
  • Adverbial fronting: Beautifully, she sang.

By fronting the adverb “beautifully,” the sentence highlights how she sang.

4. Complement Fronting

Moving a compliment, such as an adjective or noun phrase, to the front of a sentence is known as complement fronting. This change in word order highlights the complement’s connection to the subject or verb.


  • Regular word order: He is a talented musician.
  • Complement fronting: Talented, he is a musician.

By fronting the compliment “talented,” the sentence emphasises his exceptional ability as a musician.

5. Prepositional Phrase Fronting

Moving a prepositional phrase to the front of a sentence is called prepositional phrase fronting. This rearranging highlights the place, direction, or relationship represented by the prepositional phrase.


  • Regular word order: The dog ran across the field.
  • Prepositional phrase fronting: Across the area, the dog ran.

By fronting the prepositional phrase “across the field,” the sentence highlights the dog’s path.

6. Conjunctive Fronting

Moving conjunction or a phrase that denotes a connection between clauses to the front of a sentence is called conjunction fronting. This modification draws attention to the meeting or link between the clauses.


  • Regular word order: I will study hard, so I can pass the exam.
  • Conjunctive fronting: So, I will study hard, I can pass the exam.

By fronting the conjunction “so,” the sentence emphasises the reason or cause behind studying hard.

7. Emphatic Fronting

Emphatic fronting emphasises a particular phrase feature by bringing it to the front. This fronting style is employed for rhetorical impact or to draw attention to a critical idea.


  • Regular word order: They all went to the party.
  • Emphatic fronting: All of them, they went to the party.

By fronting the phrase “all of them,” the sentence emphasises that everyone attended the party.

8. Stylistic Fronting

Rearranging a sentence’s word order for aesthetic reasons without a clear grammatical or semantic purpose is known as stylistic fronting. This fronting style improves linguistic expression and gives the phrase flare.


  • Regular word order: The book was written by Jane.
  • Stylistic fronting: Written by Jane, the book was.

By fronting the phrase “written by Jane,” the sentence adds a stylistic touch, creating a more engaging structure.

Fronting Examples:

  1. In the garden, a beautiful flower bloomed.
  2. Under the table, the cat hid from the dog.
  3. Loudly, she sang her heart out.
  4. Joyful, the children celebrated their victory.
  5. On the hill stood an ancient castle.
  6. Nevertheless, I will continue to strive for success.
  7. Never have I seen such a breathtaking sunset.
  8. From the depths of his soul, he poured out his emotions.

These examples highlight the various ways that fronting may be used, showing how changing the word order can highlight certain parts and improve the overall effect of the phrase. Using fronting strategies, we may successfully communicate our intended message and engage our audience.

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Key Takeaways

  1. Fronting includes altering a sentence’s word order to emphasise certain words or parts.

  2. By placing the subject in front of the sentence, subject fronting emphasises the subject.

  3. Putting the object before the subject or verb phrase draws attention to it.

  4. A particular element is given more prominence for rhetorical impact by emphatic fronting.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of fronting in sentences?

Fronting emphasises particular parts in sentences, including subjects, objects, adverbs, complements, prepositional phrases, conjunctions, or even for aesthetic purposes. Speakers and writers can emphasise the relevance or effect of these aspects by rearranging the word order and putting them at the front of the phrase.

How does fronting affect sentence structure?

Fronting modifies the usual word order, which impacts sentence structure. It creates a more prominent spot for emphasis by moving an element to the front of the phrase, typically in a different location. The sentence’s overall effect, rhythm, and flow can all be impacted by this alteration.

How do I identify fronting in a sentence?

In contrast to the standard word order, items that are put at the front of a sentence, before the verb or verb phrase, indicate fronting. These particular components are frequently highlighted and stand out. Furthermore, fronting may be identified by highlighting how sentences are rearranged for emphasis.

Can fronting be used in formal writing?

Yes, fronting is acceptable in formal writing, mainly when utilised correctly and intentionally. However, it’s crucial to consider the writing’s context and style. It is typically advised to use fronting sparingly and wisely in professional writing, improving clarity and adding emphasis without detracting from the text’s overall coherence.

Are there any rules or guidelines for using fronting?

Although there are no set guidelines for using fronting, it is crucial to utilise it deliberately and clearly. Think about the emphasis and how it affects the sentence structure. Make that the fronted piece is still coherent within the context of the phrase and is grammatically accurate.

Can fronting change the meaning of a sentence?

Yes, fronting may change a statement’s emphasis and attention, which can change the phrase’s meaning. Fronting can redirect attention and highlight certain information or relationships inside the words by putting distinct pieces at the front. Fronting does not alter the sentence’s fundamental meaning but highlights specific phrases.

Are there any common mistakes to avoid when using fronting?

Using fronting sparingly is vital since too much of it can complicate the sentence structure. Be careful to refrain from using words or leading the reader astray by incorrectly fronting parts that aren’t logically or syntactically compatible with the body of the phrase. To communicate effectively when utilising fronting, keep your sentences coherent and clear.

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