It's good to stay active. (vs) To stay active is good.

I've learned that both sentences are completely the same.

That because "it" is the 'expletive it' and indicate "to stay active" in grammar.

But I'm wondering if "it" could be another situations.

What if someone says that,

"You need to have a hobby. It's good to stay active."

Is it possible?

Thank you for your help.

  • Modified (any hobby -> a hobby)

1 Answer 1


It's good to stay active (vs) To stay active is good.

Yes, they tell us the same thing. The former is just an extraposed infinitive clause, which is generally more common in spoken English than written English. The latter is not common, but it's perfectly grammatical.

The it is just a dummy subject used as a placeholder to fill the empty slot in the subject position when the infinitival clause is extraposed to the final position.

1 [To stay active] is good

2 __ is good [to stay active]

3 (It) is good [to stay active]

You need to have any hobby. It's good to stay active.

This is not really coherent to me, because it is inexactly related. It might be better if you combine them in a same sentence.

You need to have a hobby because it's good to stay active.

Note that any cannot be used in a positive declarative sentence. We use some hobbies or just a hobby.

  • Oh, thank you and sorry for "any". So then what if he said that "You need to have a hobby. It's good for staying active.", what did "it" indicate? "need ~ a hobby." or "for staying active."?
    – JS.Kim.
    Apr 25, 2017 at 7:42
  • @JS.Kim. It refers to nothing. As stated, it's just a placeholder with no overt referent. Btw, you don't have to say sorry, we are learning :) Apr 25, 2017 at 7:47
  • I see. Lastly, one more thing, then when I like to mean something of the previous sentence what should I say? That's good to stay active. or That's good for staying active. or That's good for you to stay active. instead of "it's"?
    – JS.Kim.
    Apr 25, 2017 at 8:05
  • @JS.Kim. You need to make sure that your discourse is coherent so the referent can be identified "You need a hobby. It's important because it helps you spend your leisure productively." Apr 25, 2017 at 8:14
  • 1
    @JS.Kim. Ohh, sorry. I just reread your question. "It's good for staying active", it refers to the hobby. Apr 25, 2017 at 11:01

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