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Could you please explain why "it is important" is correct but "it important" is wrong as below?

I should remember it important to try everything.
I should remember that it is important to try everything.

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    You can consider it important to try everything, or think it important, but remember it important is not idiomatic. Verbs are not identical but license different complements. Sep 28, 2023 at 22:10

2 Answers 2

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The words "it important" can be correct, just not after the verb "remember".

Some verbs allow for the structure [ verb + "it" + complement + "to" + base form ], such as:

I consider it bad luck to step on a beetle.
I think it important to arrive at a party with a gift.

The meaning of these sentences are:

I consider stepping on a beetle (to be) bad luck.
I think arriving at a party with a gift is important.

This structure only works with certain verbs, and "remember" isn't one of them. I believe all the verbs that use this structure are verbs of opinion, and we don't use "remember" to express opinions.

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  1. I should remember it important to try everything.
  2. I should remember that it is important to try everything.

Example 1 may be interpreted as elliptical with an implied as, thus: I should remember it (as) important to try everything. It can suggest that previously, I did not believe it was important to try everything, and suffered some consequence as a result. This statement may serve as a reminder or admonishment of that failure to avoid future trouble.

While example 2 might also be used similarly, it is not so confined, and could be a general statement of wisdom to color future actions.

This nuance is captured grammatically by which parts of the sentence are modified. In example 1, important assigns quality to the verb remember for it. In the second example, important assigns quality to the phrase (to try everything) through its alignment with the pronoun it. The whole clause (that it is important to try everything) functions as the object of the verb remember. This shift in focus slightly alters the meaning.

Using unusual syntax is one way for narrators to be more precise in what they want to emphasize in a particular situation. Sometimes, the presence of unexpected syntax, by itself, can indicate that there may be more information than initially meets the eye. Consider:

  1. I should remember it important to try everything; this blunder nearly ruined my reputation.
  2. I should remember that it is important to try everything and never to give up.

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