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Is "it" a subject placeholder in the sentences below?

It is reported that one ancient Greek athlete ate dried figs to enhance training.

It appears unlikely that interest rates will fall.

marked as duplicate by Jason Bassford, choster, virolino, SamBC, ColleenV Apr 13 at 13:09

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It is reported [that one ancient Greek athlete ate dried figs to enhance training].

It appears unlikely [that interest rates will fall].

Yes, it's a placeholder. These are extraposition constructions, where the subject is the dummy pronoun "it".

The extraposed subject appears at the end of the clause, outside the verb phrase, and corresponds to the subject of the basic non-extraposed version:

[That one ancient Greek athlete ate dried figs to enhance training] is reported.

[That interest rates will fall] appears unlikely.

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