I'm not sure if it's OK to say "Sounds good" instead of "It sounds good".

If it is so, when can I omit "it"? Can I also say "Will rain", instead of "It will rain"?

2 Answers 2


The word being omitted is not it, but that:

"Shall I pick you up at 5:30?"
"That sounds good." [or] "Sounds good."

You can always leave out that or *that's" in quick assents:

"You'll come by at 5:30?"
"That's right." [or] "Right."

When you are making any kind of value judgment about something said immediately prior, leaving out that or that's is acceptable in informal contexts, particularly in conversation.

He says he graduated from Harvard. [That] Sounds fishy to me.

When you are making an assertion such as It will rain, the question of leaving out the it doesn't arise, for two reasons:

  • The statement is not an assent or a value judgment.
  • The word isn't that.

So the question about leaving out it is based on a misunderstanding of what's going on. But leaving off initial pronouns is quite common generally. It's called conversational deletion and there are several questions about it on this site.

  • 3
    I don't think the omitted word is strictly 'it' or 'that'. An idea or an opinion or a plan may sound good. "It sounds good." is okay. You may want to look at this: english.stackexchange.com/questions/291913/… Btw, @verbose, your username and this question = irony. Kidding.
    – shin
    Mar 3, 2017 at 10:26
  • @shin But in those cases you don't omit the it: What do you think of the plan? — It sounds good. The one answer to the (closed) question you link to rather supports my argument.
    – verbose
    Mar 3, 2017 at 10:34
  • I added the link as a reference to the first part of your answer, re: it vs. that - (anaphoric reference).
    – shin
    Mar 3, 2017 at 11:42
  • What @shin said. In your first example we might just as well suppose the "deleted" subject of to sound good was 5:30 (or Your suggestion, or any number of alternatives). Mar 3, 2017 at 13:06
  • @FumbleFingers in all those cases, the pronoun that would stand in for the deleted subject would be That, wouldn't it?
    – verbose
    Mar 3, 2017 at 20:04

English is a non- null-subject- language. It naturally follows that it is not a pro-drop language where verbal inflections are indication enough to assume the subject with least requirement of filling the syntactic gap by a dummy pronoun. Only in imperative mood, we drop pronoun (you), but again commission it into service for emphasis.

Stop abusing. / Stop abusing, you fool!

So every sentence must have a subject— real or its place holder we know by the name pronoun.(Learned critics have used different pronouns.) However they all fulfill the syntactic function of subjects. I have a special fascination for IT as it is the only impersonal pronoun we have and has many a fond name attached to it.

It is true that in day to day conversation and colloquial expression we often omit the subjects. Infants do often drop subjects. Of course, it's okey to say, " Sounds good" in informal conversation, novels, direct speeches or real life situations.

"Will rain.", can never be written since English doesn't function in null anaphora and requires the syntactic gap to be filled by Weather IT. This is yet another name of IT.

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