While I was looking at the data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English. I could hardly understand those bold ones. Could you tell me the paraphrased ones or alternative sentences for those?

(Article 1)

BUCHANAN OK, Jennifer, go ahead GIROUX Yes. All I can say, Rabbi, is, youve got to concede the fact -- and its difficult because we all at times in life have to say, Im sorry, I was wrong -- we can not go back and make it that the Hawaiians killed Christ. Mel Gibson and all Christians...

(Article 2)

You know, one thing about new year's resolutions is that they are so vague, most people's resolutions are so vague and therefore so hard to keep. Have you got a quick comment on that, Denise? AUSTIN Well, first of all, you've got to make a plan. You've got to stick to it. And make it that you have a blueprint. You can't just say oh, I'm going to lose weight.

  • Please choose a different answer. The one you chose was wrong and has been deleted.
    – user6951
    May 29, 2015 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


Make it that X is a causative expression; it may be paraphrased

Cause it to be the case that X OR
Cause X to be the case.

It here is employed as a 'dummy' pronoun. You might think of it as "things-in-general" or "the world situation" or "the way things are".

So your first example means

We cannot go back and cause it to be the case that the Hawaiians killed Christ = "we cannot cause a fiction to be true"

And your second example, an imperative, means

Cause it to be the case that you have a blueprint = "Make sure you have a plan, not just a desire"

Perhaps you have seen an episode or several episodes of Star Trek: the Next Generation and remember that Capt. Picard's stock answer to a suggestion he approves of is "Make it so". This is the same idiom. So means "as you have just said", and "Make it so" means "Cause what you have just said to be the case" = "Carry out what you suggested."

  • +1 Too easy to be true, but it actually is! Definitely that's the reason some people intend to close this question. I'm thinking about "we cannot cause a fiction to be true", if you don't mind, are you talking about an irrealis, I mean is it equivalent to We cannot go back and cause it to be the case as though the Hawaiians killed Christ? May 27, 2015 at 15:32
  • @LucianSava No, the complement is a denied realis, not a hypothetical irrealis, exactly as in "It is not true that the Hawaiians killed Christ". May 27, 2015 at 16:29

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