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In the following sentence, what does the "it" refer to? Is it a dummy subject that refers to the infinitival phrase "to test your golfing abilities at a challenging but extremely fun course"?

The crazy golf in Camden has been rebuilt recently and it awaits you to test your golfing abilities at a challenging but extremely fun course.

http://www.mumstheword.me/category/entertainment/

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  • I'm leaving this question open as it cannot be answered using a dictionary. The OP has told us they are unclear whether it's a regular pronoun or a dummy pronoun in this context, which no dictionary or other reference material can resolve.
    – gotube
    Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 21:04
  • The "and it awaits you to..." could be rephrased as "and it's waiting for you to…"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 8:51

4 Answers 4

1

No, it refers to the crazy golf in Camden. That facility awaits you, so that you can test your golfing abilities...

The second part of the sentence should have been separated:
...abilities. It's a challenging but extremely fun course.

0

The sentence is ambiguous, and the meaning hinges on wither "it" is a regular pronoun or a dummy pronoun.

It's by far most likely that "it" is a regular pronoun with the meaning, "... and the crazy golf in Camden awaits you so it can test your golfing abilities..."

But "it awaits you to" can be read with the poetic meaning of "it's up to you to...", so in that context, it could mean, "... and it's up to you to test your golfing abilities...". This is almost certainly not the intent of the writer.

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  • "it's up to sb." has two meanings: to be responsible for something or to be able to decide about something. Do you think the latter meaning does not fit the context in which the "await" is found?
    – Apollyon
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 0:59
  • This is still wrong. There is no ambiguity in the OP's example. "It awaits you" very clearly refers to the mentioned golf course, as it qualifies it by adding that you can test your abilities "at a challenging but extremely fun course". If "it" was just abstract then it wouldn't be so specific and you could test your abilities anywhere.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 10:00
  • @Astralbee In my dummy-pronoun parsing of this sample, "crazy golf in Camden" is not directly referred to, but is so strongly implied by the context that it's clear enough on which course it's suggesting you test your abilities. It's like if you're in front of an Italian restaurant, and you say, "This place is great. Would you like to have Italian this evening?" It's clear enough from the context that you're suggesting having Italian at this restaurant, not some other random one.
    – gotube
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 18:55
  • @Apollyon The meaning I intended for "it's up to you" is "you have to take the initiative", which I guess is closer to "be responsible for something". The verb "await" doesn't have the meaning of "be able to decide about something", so it's irrelevant whether it fits this context
    – gotube
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 19:06
-1

Remove the superfluous pronoun "it" and the meaning is clearer.

The crazy golf in Camden has been rebuilt recently and awaits you to test your golfing abilities at a challenging but extremely fun course.

The subject is “the crazy golf in Camden” which is waiting for players to test their golfing skills.

There is no need for a dummy "it" when the subject in the main clause is the same as in the subordinate clause. This is even true when a dummy pronoun is used with a noun such as “time”

  • ‘Possibly it will convince me that it is time to get a proper job, settle down and get married and have kids and [to] await my inevitable death.’
    Lexico

  • A chauffeur holds the door open and awaits your instructions.

  • The former president, David Thatcher, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud and awaits sentencing, as do two vice presidents (Jonathan Beck and Kevin Clark) who have admitted guilt on insider ...

  • For who among you can know the value of time and say what a day is worth when Death has power over the past, governs the present and awaits the future, just as he awaits all men?"
    Dreams and Discourses

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  • Thank you. But as written, your version runs into a Binding Condition C violation (pardon my use of the jargon) because "The crazy golf in Camden" refers to "a challenging but extremely fun course." It's the sort of problem you encounter in "John asked me to help a man," with "John" and "a man" referring to the same person.
    – Apollyon
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 10:17
  • @Apollyon It's the sort of problem you encounter in "John asked me to help a man," with "John" and "a man" referring to the same person John is a different person from "man", they are not one and the same.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 10:19
  • @Apollyon You're thinking of "John asked me to help him”, but without context we don't know if the indirect object "him" refers to John or someone else. As far as I can tell (I might be mistaken because I've never heard of "Binding Condition C") the sentence in your question does not have this ambiguity.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 10:37
  • @Apollyon Binding Condition C requires that an antecedent noun precedes the pronoun that refers to that noun. The condition is violated in "He asked Mary to help John" only if "he" and "John" are the same person. There's no equivalent violation in what Mari-Lou has presented
    – gotube
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 19:20
  • @gotube First of all, Binding Condition C stipulates tht an R-expression must not be bound by a c-commanding nominal. In "He asked Mary to help John," the R-expression John would induce a Binding Condition C violation if "he" and "John" refer to the same person. Likewise, in Mari-Lou's sentence, The crazy golf in Camden" and "a challenging but extremely fun course" refer to the same entity. Hence the violation.
    – Apollyon
    Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 2:07
-2

"It" always refers to something previously referred to, or something obvious to the audience (for example, something that you can see right in front of you).

In this case, "the crazy golf in Camden" is the subject, and "it" refers to this.

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  • Are you familiar with "dummy" pronouns, like "It's raining" or "It's past my bedtime" or "It's up to you"?
    – gotube
    Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 21:07
  • @gotube Yes, I have heard of them, and this isn't an example of one.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 8:58
  • I ask because you say that "it" always refers to something previously referred to. But in the case of dummy pronouns, this is not true. To be clear, I'm not arguing here that "it" is a dummy pronoun in this example, just that the word "it" does not always have an antecedent.
    – gotube
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 19:01

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