I have a question related to the usage of "it" and "this". Are they interchangeable in the following context and such contexts?

1- It is the first time I have driven a car.

2- This is the first time I have driven a car.

I searched with Ngrams and found lots of results for both.

  • The examples are the same, perhaps the second is more fluent. But "and such contexts" cannot be answered. Compare "It was the first time..." with "This was the first time..." Here it would be "That was the first time...". – Weather Vane Oct 22 '17 at 18:44
  • No. 2 is more used and probably more fluent, but both are fine. – Nick Oct 22 '17 at 19:17
  • Using the imperfect/past tense "was" in that situation, and the difference is more easily discernible, but not in the simple present. – Nick Oct 22 '17 at 19:19
  • I think it depends entirely on the larger context. If you're sitting behind the wheel of a car, it would be very natural to say "This is the first time", but saying "It is the first time" sounds weird. "It" is more general and doesn't necessarily refer to anything present. – stangdon Oct 22 '17 at 19:49

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