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What type of "it" is used in this sentence:

It had been agreed that they should all meet in the big barn as soon as Mr. Jones was safely out of the way.

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    @EdwinAshworth I don't follow you. An it-cleft has its backgrounded element expressed in a relative clause, but there is no relative clause in the OP's example. I'd say that it's an extraposition construction. I agree that "it" is a dummy element.
    – BillJ
    Mar 25 at 15:19
  • @Vanessa The pronoun "it" is a dummy element serving the syntactic purpose of filling the subject position. Your example is an extraposition construction, where the extraposed element ("that they should all meet ...") doesn’t give the meaning (reference) of "it" but serves simply as a semantic argument of the verb phrase.
    – BillJ
    Mar 25 at 15:25
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    PaulQ at [Word Reference Forums]() distinguishes the 'it' in extrapositions (which BillJ is quite right is what is occurring here): '[In] the example "It is raining" – "It" is a dummy subject because it has no referent. [But in] "It is difficult to understand you." - "it is the preparatory "it" as it has a [later] referent.' [To understand you is what is difficult.] Mar 25 at 16:20
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    Does this answer your question? Why we put 'it' beginning of sentences
    – Astralbee
    Mar 26 at 9:36

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