De las copulativas identificativas a las justificativas con es que

Translated title of the contribution: From equative sentences to justificational clauses with es que

Manuel Pérez Saldanya, José Ignacio Hualde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Spanish the construction es que ‘(it) is that’ is used primarily to provide justification for a statement or a speech act. This construction reaches very high frequency in oral interaction in present-day Spanish. The construction appears to have arisen from the omission of the subject in equative sentences headed by expressions such as (lo que pasa) es que… ‘what happens is that’, (el problema) es que… ‘the problem is that’, etc., with causal value. We find the first examples of es que constructions offering an explanation or justification for a statement in the 16th century. very soon afterwards, the construction starts being used also in counterargumentative contexts. In more recent times, es que has also acquired an expressive value in the colloquial language.

Translated title of the contributionFrom equative sentences to justificational clauses with es que
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)421-448
Number of pages28
JournalRevista de Filologia Espanola
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • argumentation
  • equative clauses
  • es que ‘it’s that’
  • grammaticalization
  • inferential constructions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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