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He's made it an imprisonable offense to connect this house to Floo Network, place a Portkey here, or Apparate in or out. (From Harry Potter)

Does the meaning of it derive from to connect this house to Floo Network, place a Portkey here, or Apparate in or out?

And does the sentence mean that:
connecting this house to Floo Network, placing a Portkey here, or Apparating in or out are imprisonable offenses?

2 Answers 2

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He's made it an imprisonable offense to connect this house to Floo Network, place a Portkey here, or Apparate in or out.

No: in object extraposition the "it" is a dummy element serving as object and the subordinate clause as extraposed object.

The ‘basic’ non-extraposed version is inadmissible by vitue of having the subordinate clause located between the verb and another complement (* He’s made to connect this house to Floo Network, place a Portkey here, or Apparate in or out an imprisonable offence.)

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You got the meaning of the sentence right. "It" is a pronoun, this allows to say:

It is an imprisonable offense to ....

so the statement / conclusion is at the front, before the examples. It is easier to understand when written this way, you just have to read "it" as a referent, and fill in the later instances.

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  • I'm not certain if this is accurate. It seems more likely to me that it is a dummy pronoun in the same sense as it is raining (or as in the first word of this sentence). I don't think its referent is the subsequent phrase, but that it's simply there for grammatical coherence. Jun 8, 2019 at 11:37

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