Questions tagged [dummy-pronouns]

A dummy pronoun, also called an expletive pronoun or pleonastic pronoun, is a pronoun used for syntax without adding further meaning. An example is the "it" in "it is raining".

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What is the meaning of “it” in “as luck would have it”?

What is the meaning of "it" in the following sentences? Our car broke down on the road, but as luck would have it, there was a garage nearby. I arrived a little late and, as luck would have ...
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Does anyone has a dog in “their” home [duplicate]

I have read this ELL question and this ELU question but I still don't understand how to use this one: Does anyone has a dog in their home? Should I use their or something else?
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2answers
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When should a sentence start with the pronoun “it”?

As a spanish speaker, i sometimes have problems with the personal pronoun it. Example: It can be dangerous to drive if you are tired. The question is: How do I know when to start the sentence ...
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How do you parse the sentence and what is “it”?

The bulk and weight of coal required in the majority of manufacturing industries is large in comparison with the bulk and weight of other raw materials. This is not always true -- as with the ...
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1answer
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Should I use 'isn't there' to show no food that I have been craving for? [closed]

"When the food you are craving for isn't there, the last choice you have is Maggi." Is my grammar correct? Or can you change my sentence so it will be better than mine? Thanks!
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1answer
71 views

It is + adjective + doing

It is no use crying. It is expensive running this car. It is a waste of time doing this. Why we have this pattern of sentence construction? I more often meet with some sentences have ...
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2answers
395 views

There + verb , is it grammatical?

There didn't exist computers. Will there happen similar events in the future? Are these sentences grammatical or is my mind making stuff up? I haven't been able to find much on the net.
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1answer
177 views

dummy “it” and the the verb “make”

I really want to know about the relation between dummy "it" and the the verb "make". These example sentences are from TOEFL, and I collected all of them which includes dummy "it" after the verb "...
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What does “it” mean in these lines? [duplicate]

Can you please help me understand to which noun do it [pronoun] refers to in the below sentences? He is the murderer. Later it was found he is not. The it in the second sentence: " Later it...", ...
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What does “it” refer to in, “Strange as it may seem…”?

I have a sentence below and some say it means "the Sahara" but I doubt it as it doesn't make sense if it does. Does anyone have any idea about it? Strange as it may seem, the Sahara was once an ...
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what does ''it'' refer to in a sentence?

If I see an article advertised, it is the surest proof I know that the article does what is claimed for it, and that it is good value. What does the word "it" refer to? Is the word "it" a "dummy ...
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1answer
367 views

why we need dummy subjects and it's usage?

There is a book on the table -- existential clause A book is on the table -- basic version A book is there -- (there= on the table, adverb of place) An existential clause is a clause that refers to ...
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1answer
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The use of it as object

SOURCE The following sentence is from the online Longmans dictionary. He found it increasingly difficult to read, for his eyes were failing. Is the part of sentence "it increasingly difficult to ...
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1answer
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“It took {bla bla} to do something” structures: what's wrong with the dummy subject in comparative sentences?

Based on this answer, I would like to know why it's really odd to say: Fixing the problem took me two hours more than it took me to find the problem. I know we can (or should) use ellipses, I ...
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1answer
77 views

Are both sentences completely the same in meaning?

It's good to stay active. (vs) To stay active is good. I've learned that both sentences are completely the same. That because "it" is the 'expletive it' and indicate "to stay active" in grammar. ...
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“How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?”

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? (I found this sentence on a friend's wall on Facebook) How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? or it should be How many ...
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1answer
43 views

Shouldn't there be used a plural pronoun in this phrase?

I was watching Westworld TV series first episode yesterday and encountered this phrase at 3:20- It was the best two weeks of my life. I am confused if the dummy variable "it" is really appropriate ...
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1answer
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“Whether he met them (it) is not clear.” Do I have to insert an ''it''?

If I operate an inversion on (1), do I have to use the "it" or not because "Whether he met them" (see 2) looks to act as an it. 1) It is not clear whether he met them. 2) Whether he met them (...
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Expletive it: reference to they/them

Which of these is used correctly? It were them. It was them. It was they. It were they. I actually think the "it" is an expletive indicator so noun is whether them or they and since both are plural, ...
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1answer
74 views

dummy “it” + was/were?

What is correct in the following sentence: It was/were our musical expeditions to Berlin that encouraged us to do that. I think the plural of "expeditions" indicates "were" but I´m not shure about ...
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1answer
6k views

“Wasn’t it you” or “weren’t it you”?

I have always said “Wasn’t it you who _______”; it feels the most natural. However, you use “were” or “are” with “you. Shouldn’t it then be “Weren’t it you”?
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1answer
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The structure of the sentence

It takes the earth a little more than 365 days to travel around the sun. According to the sentence, I think the structure of it like the following: It = Preparatory "it" takes = Verb the earth = ...
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1answer
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possessive pronoun “its” with noun

Is the following sentence, which uses possessive pronoun "its" without noun, correct? Affirming something's being white excludes denying it, because something's being white excludes its not being ...
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1answer
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There would be/will be/might be

I'm using these constructions without any confidence. I don't know wheater they are correct or not, in case where I try to build up the whole sentence with them. These constructions are: There ...
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0answers
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Use of “If there was/were” [duplicate]

I've heard that the phrase If there was/were can be used in the sentences. But I don't know exactly how to use it in sentences. Although I don't know its exact usage, I've tried to use it in the ...
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3answers
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Are dummy subject and impersonal subject the same?

It is sunny. (impersonal subject) It is difficult to learn English. (dummy subject or place holder) In Korea, we learn that dummy subject and impersonal subject are different. But, I don't think ...
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3answers
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In “It is raining”, what does “It” refer to? [duplicate]

If "it" is a noun, what is it? If instead, "it is" is the 3rd person present verb to-be, what is the subject of the sentence? (How is it grammatical to have a sentence consisting only of two verbs in ...
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“There are” with or without additional “there”

When starting a sentence with "there are" is it necessary to put additional "THERE" in the sentence? Like in: The Snieznik Mountains is situated in the East Sudets. There are a lot of charming ...
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3answers
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“government has felt it necessary” - why not “government has felt it IS necessary”?

The military government is committed to a very different policy – postponing for many years a return to democratic rule, giving first priority to economic recovery and the elimination of Marxist ...
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The function of “it” in “I hate it when…”

(a) I found it difficult to stop thinking of one little girl. (b) I hate it when you do that. Why is it necessary to use "it" in the sample sentences above when the role of the object play (a) ...
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1answer
154 views

What is this “it”?

He usually works for so long as he feels it necessary to perfect his task. I found this in an exercise book. What is this "it"? Is it correct? It means "He works until he can say, "I'm satisfied!"?
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Quote from a book published in 1899- Incorrect grammar or change in language over time?

I have the following quote from The Theory of the Leisure Class, published in 1899: The close-cropped lawn is beautiful in the eyes of a people whose inherited bent it is to readily find pleasure ...
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1answer
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What's the meaning of 'it' in this sentence?

I am not sure about the meaning of value it. Is this idiom-like expression? Or if not, what does it refer to? Giving gay and lesbian couples the same rights in a union - that would not dilute Mom ...
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Using the phrase “the fact” rather than dummy “it”

She doesn’t like it when you are so quiet. Could you use "the fact that" instead of "it" that is used as an empty or dummy subject or object in the bold part?
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This was a conference which it was her duty to attend

This was a conference which it was her duty to attend. I would like to ask why there is in the above sentence used the pronoun it. Is that sentence a relative clause?
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2answers
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word patterns and prepositional phrases

Which one is correct? I can't stand it when I lose things. I can't stand when I lose things. I have come across the case when "it" is possible but I still doubt which of the above is ...
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2answers
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There being no reasonable relationship

“There being” is allegedly an absolute phrase. Moreover, because “there being” is the present participle of “there be”, I'd like to learn how to parse/unravel “there be”, to determine/deduce this ...
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3answers
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Dummy “it” and usage of “as to”

It is not clear as to how this accident happened. Is this kind of contruction possible? I think this "it" is like "It is easy to do this". Can this "as to" be inserted like that? And does it change ...
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1answer
397 views

“It must have been a powerful wizard to … ” — is “it” a pronoun or a dummy?

"Charlie's in Romania studying dragons, and Bill's in Africa doing something for Gringotts[bank]," said Ron. "Did you hear about Gringotts? It's been all over the Daily Prophet, but I don't suppose ...
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1answer
171 views

Using “it” at the beginning of a sentence

It can be difficult to talk about subjects like XXXX. It can be difficult to learn a new language. I hope it doesn't rain Today. What does it means in the above sentences? Why should we start ...
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1answer
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What's the original form for 'there's' in this sentenece?

Scout, you aren’t old enough to understand some things yet, but there’s been some high talk around town to the effect that I shouldn’t do much about defending this man. (Harper Lee, To Kill A ...