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I have read that "it" is not used to refer to human, but I encountered the following within a grammar textbook without any explanation:

There's someone at the door. Can you go and see who it is?

Is it grammatically correct to use "it" to refer to people?

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    We often hear the phrase, "look who it is" or like the one you mentioned. I think it is used to mean that there could possibly be anyone on the other side of the door. Hence it is generalised to say "it" rather than he/she/them/they. Though I must say I am not completely sure about it. We can avoid the pronoun altogether to write: There's someone at the door. Can you go (and) see who's here? or "Look who is here!" – Dhanishtha Ghosh Nov 3 '20 at 17:17
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    "Knock, knock!", "Who's there?", "It's me!" – FumbleFingers Nov 3 '20 at 17:25
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    Usages like "Who is it?" and "Look who it is" are very well-established. – Kate Bunting Nov 3 '20 at 17:45
  • The pronoun it encompasses not only the identity of the person, but also what role or function they might be serving. "Can you see who it is?" "It's a grocery delivery." – Canadian Yankee Nov 3 '20 at 18:31
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If you don't know the gender of the person referred to, you can use "it" in expressions like yours and others:
"Who is it?"
"Is it someone important?"

If someone said
"There's a woman/man at the door.",
it would be more natural to say
"Who is she/he?"

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    Even where the gender is known, you can still say "it". ("Hello, it's me!" "Oh - it's you!" "It's him again!"). Perhaps it should just be regarded as a dummy pronoun that is mandatory because English doesn't allow the subject to be dropped? – rjpond Nov 3 '20 at 17:57
  • Good points there. – Jack O'Flaherty Nov 3 '20 at 18:01
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We often hear the phrase, "look who it is" or like the one you mentioned. I think it is used that way to mean that there could possibly be anyone on the other side of the door. Hence it is generalized to say "it" rather than he/she/they/them.

"Hey babes, look who it is!"

If we know the gender of the person first-hand then we might consider using: he/she/him/her/they/them.

"I think Bob is here. Go get him."

We can avoid the pronoun altogether and consider writing:

There's someone at the door. Can you go (and) see who's here?

"Hey Annie, look who is here!"

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