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I've got a bit technical example. But hopefully, you don't need to know the topic. I was discussing design of, say, an application (or plugin, to be more specific). What I said was:

Generally, you have a form, and file input is just one of the fields. With your plugin, you've got file input and it's it you're supposed to provide with information which extra fields to pass. And it's it that is responsible for submitting the form.

The part I'm concerned about is "it's it". Is that okay?

UPD By second "it" I mean "plugin" or "file input". Which can be used more or less interchangeably here. And the point is to put emphasis on the file input/plugin part.

Where is this coming from? Let's consider this sentence (taken from a book, according to thread starter):

It was he who told you I'd be here!

So, I'm trying to follow the pattern, which results in: "...it's it that..." Is that wrong?

If I wouldn't be concerned about emphasis, I'd say:

You're supposed to provide plugin with information as to which extra fields to pass. It's also responsible for submitting the form.

  • "It's it you're" doesn't make sense. What are you trying to say? – Andrew May 30 '17 at 17:20
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    In English, this is called deictics and the use of deictic pronouns. When talking, if you refer back to a thing in your speech, you should use this or that or this is what or that's what and not it. /it/ is OK grammatically speaking but not really conversationally speaking. Here we would say: And that's what you're supposed to provide. – Lambie May 30 '17 at 17:26
  • As Lambie says, use that (or this) rather than it; and I would recommend using which rather than that for the relative clause, so you don't get tangled up (or tangle your reader up) with multiple thats: "...it is that which you're supposed to provide", "...it's that which is responsible". – StoneyB on hiatus May 30 '17 at 17:40
  • @Andrew If I say, "... and it's the plugin, that you're supposed to provide with information which extra fields to pass." Does it make it clear? That is, you're supposed to provide plugin with some information. But I want to put emphasis on the plugin part. – x-yuri May 30 '17 at 17:43
  • @x-yuri maybe "it's what you are supposed to provide with information about which fields to pass" – Andrew May 30 '17 at 17:56
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With your plugin, you've got file input and you're supposed to provide it with information as to which extra fields to pass. And that is responsible for submitting the form.

is much simpler. I removed both of the it's its and added another it in the first sentence. I also added as to, because your first sentence didn't make sense without it (even with the it's it). Your second sentence was too verbose, by simply removing the it's it it still makes sense.

Your use of it's it is grammatically OK but very awkward. The comments have better info on this than I do.

  • Take a look at my comment, please. Your phrasing lacks emphasis on the file input/plugin part. – x-yuri May 30 '17 at 18:20
  • @x-yuri "it" and "that" both refer back to "file input". I don't know what extra emphasis you want to add - you give it information, it is responsible for submitting the form. In your linked comment, "He told you I'd be here" IMO puts just as much emphasis on "he" as "It is he" without sounding obtuse. I don't honestly see a put in making the sentence any more complex than it needs to be. If you can clarify a bit on why mine doesn't have the proper emphasis, I can help you more. – Stephen S May 30 '17 at 18:24
  • What Wikipedia says: "Clefts typically put a particular constituent into focus." And one of the examples: "It's Joey we're looking for." Does the sentence conveys the same meaning for you as: "We're looking for Joey"? Except for being more complex (or maybe rather uncommon)? But isn't saying something not the way people usually say it is a way to put emphasis? As to your phrasing, what's in it that puts emphasis? – x-yuri May 30 '17 at 18:58
  • @x-yuri OK, that makes sense. Thank you for the clarification. I'll get back to you :) – Stephen S May 30 '17 at 19:14

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