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I have a sentence:

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, some fruits and vegetables get a nutritional boost upon cooking.

I know the comparative idiom "as...as", but "As counter-intuitive as it may seem" still hard for me to understand. What is "it" here? Does it mean "some fruits and vegetables"? And if I want to rewrite this expression, how can i write it?

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"it" refers to common wisdom which would suggest fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value when cooked, so it is counter-intuitive that they would actually receive a boost.

You could rewrite the sentence:

Some fruits and vegetables actually get a nutritional boost upon cooking.

-or-

Contrary to popular belief, some fruits and vegetables get a nutritional boost upon cooking.

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The "it" in question is the entire following clause.

One way to paraphrase the sentiment is to lead with the independent clause.

Some fruits and vegetables get a nutritional boost upon cooking, even though that may seem to be counter-intuitive.

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