Is it okay for me to open the door?

In this sentence, does 'it' refer to 'for me to open the door'? Is 'it' an anticipatory subject? Or is 'it' an impersonal pronoun, which does not refer to anything?

2 Answers 2


Is it okay for me to open the door?

In this sentence, it is a dummy pronoun and is simply serving a syntactical role (to make the sentence grammatical) rather than referring to something specific. It doesn't stand for (or refer to) anything in particular.

Per Wikipedia:

In the phrase "it is raining—", the verb to rain is usually considered semantically impersonal, even though it appears as syntactically intransitive; in this view, the required it is to be considered a dummy word.

Note that there is some controversy over this specific interpretation. However, what's not in dispute is that it is not a referential pronoun. In other words, you can't replace it with something else.


"It" refers to "for me to open the door". To make things more clear, we can split the sentence:

  • I want to open the door.

  • Is it OK?

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