1

I was watching Westworld TV series first episode yesterday and encountered this phrase at 3:20-

It was the best two weeks of my life.

I am confused if the dummy variable "it" is really appropriate in this situation because this, I believe, has been spoken by a native speaker.

2

You are correct that if they are referring to "weeks" with "it", it should instead be "They were the best two weeks of my life". However, keep in mind that using "it" as a stand-in for something else is actually fairly common in everyday English; so he may have been using "it" as a "dummy subject" Link to Cambridge Dictionary page on the usage of "It".

Incidentally, assuming he hadn't meant to use "it" as a dummy variable, I know from personal experience I sometimes think of "two weeks [of time]" as a singular entity depending on the context, rather than as two separate entities (for example I'd be more likely to say "two weeks is a long vacation" rather than "two weeks are a long vacation")

  • 3
    They were would not be incorrect by any means, but the sentence is grammatical. Native speakers use this sort of locution all the time. To insist on number agreement here runs counter to the way the language is actually used. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 10 '17 at 10:16
  • 1
    Except that "it" doesn't actually refer to "two weeks", it's just a placeholder, much as in, "It was my boss on the phone" or "It was impossible to find good shoes." – stangdon Feb 10 '17 at 12:27
  • This comment's a little late, but I edited my answer to reflect dummy subjects- and I must have been really tired when I'd originally posted that answer, because you're absolutely correct, TRomano. – David McKnight Feb 14 '17 at 20:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.