It is no use crying.

It is expensive running this car.

It is a waste of time doing this.

Why we have this pattern of sentence construction? I more often meet with some sentences have similar constructions but with to-infinitive. As far as I know, there are not too many exceptions, only when the adjective is useless, pointless, great and the like. Does this have a rule of thumb, or I can only keep these in mind.


The doing word form is called the gerund, which in English is formed by a verb followed by "ing". To-infinitives and gerunds are both forms of verbal nouns, which are nouns formed from or corresponding to verbs. We oftentimes see them take up similar functions or used in similar ways.

For example, you can say:

To cry is no use.

Or you can say

crying is no use.

The it in your sentences is a dummy subject. In English, you can build sentences with dummy subjects such as "it" and "there" in place of an ordinary subject noun. And the real subject is usually somewhere else in the clause, in the form of the to-infinitive or gerund.

So you can also say:

It is no use to go over there.

It is no use going over there.

  • Thank you so much. Did you mean it is great to talk with you is correct as well?
    – Young
    Aug 28 '18 at 23:02
  • @Young "It is great to talk with you" is correct and idiomatic.
    – Eddie Kal
    Aug 28 '18 at 23:12
  • @Young By the way, it seems you never accept any answers. It's a good gesture to upvote answers that you find helpful by clicking the "up" button next to the answer and accept those that you find most helpful and satisfactory by clicking the check mark.
    – Eddie Kal
    Aug 28 '18 at 23:23
  • Sorry about that. I didn't know I need to do that feedback. I am going to start this gesture hereafter
    – Young
    Aug 29 '18 at 7:36

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