My friend asks me "What is this in your ears?" and I answer "It is actually earphones" Is it correct? Do I refer to them (earphones) as for a group of objects?


Yes, "it's my earphones" or "it's actually earphones" are both perfectly valid responses in this case. No, that "it" has nothing to do with "earphones". "It" there is called a dummy pronoun and it is being used as the subject of the sentence. You need it because a normal sentence in English should have a subject and a predicate part:

it - subject

is my earphones - predicate

The sole purpose of a dummy pronoun is to play the role of the subject of the sentence. It does not do anything else and it does not refer to anything. In the case of your sentence, "it" does not refer to "the earphones". "It" is just sitting there and being the subject of the sentence. It's there only for the purposes of syntactical completeness.

  • Thanks, but now I'm really confused. I've asked a question like this before ell.stackexchange.com/questions/194223/… and the answers were "no you cannot say 'it is my scissors ' you should say ' they're my scissors". I've been struggling with this question for a week already, I want someone to say to me firmly what should I use, thanks a lot again. – Taras Kryvko Jan 28 at 12:41
  • it's my scissors, those are my scissors and they're my scissors are all fine. – Michael Rybkin Jan 28 at 12:43
  • @TarasKryvko The answer to the other question says normally when it comes to scissors—which is true. Here, it is actually earphones is fine. But it would be more common to hear they're earphones. – Jason Bassford Jan 28 at 13:22

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