This is the sentence which I heard on TV uttered by the British Prime Minister, Teresay May.

She said : "I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold."

Something caught my attention in this sentence which did not sound correct to me. She sees her job as the honour of her life. Ok, so far so good. So, we can see that the second part of the sentence is a relative clause.

But then why does she say "....the job that it has been the honour....". I guess there is no need to put the pronoun "IT" in the sentence, because it refers to the word "job".

So, should she not have said "....the job that has been..."? (without "IT")

Why does she say the pronoun "IT" again whereas it refers to "THE JOB"?



1 Answer 1


We can analyze this sentence in terms of two sentences: 1. I will shortly leave the job. 2. It has been the honour of my life to hold the job.

The speaker joins the two phrases by construing the second in the form of a relative clause and using the relative pronoun "that" to join the relative clause to the noun it modifies (job). So far, so good.

There is no grammatical need to retain "it," but retaining this word might serve a rhetorical purpose. Retaining "it" creates a triple reference to "job": job that it. This repetitive construction adds rhetorical weight to the job (prime minister) that the politician has been (unjustly) forced out of.

Poor grammar, perhaps, but good speechwriting.

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