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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"It was Ken's birthday yesterday"/"There was Ken's birthday yesterday"

I was doing exercises from Murphy's textbook and came across the following sentence: It was Ken's birthday yesterday. We had a party. I should have changed 'it' to 'there' where it was necessary, so ...
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4 answers
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It awaits you to

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 ...
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What is the function of "there" in the structure, "There is/are/..."?

In the following sentence, what are the form and function of the word "there"? There were fifteen cats and an eviction notice on Janet's front porch. My answer was this: Form: adverb of ...
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2 votes
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There used to be many, even more than (there) are today

There used to be many, even more than (there) are today. There were many, even more than (there) are today. Is there optional is both sentences?
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“I will study hard before IT is the test” Is it correct to use "it" in such cases?

Is it correct to use "it" in cases like the following: I will study hard before it is the test. I will go shopping before it is the party. I am not sure at all, but I think it'd be best to ...
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What part of sentence does the underlined infinitive work in the sentence?

I can understand the meaning of the red underline part in the picture, however, I can't tell the part of the sentence of those infinitives in the subordinate clause. Is it the actual subject of the ...
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it took a lot of effort

a. It took a lot of effort for the bridge to be constructed. Is that sentence grammatically correct? The intended meaning is that constructing the bridge took a lot of effort. I am used to sentences ...
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-1 votes
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There will be Jay, Jenny and I/me/myself at dinner

There will be Jay, Jenny and I/me/myself at dinner. Which is the most formal here? EDIT: I just realized there are two more options here using the reflexive pronoun "to add emphasis to the ...
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there is almost nothing / there isn't much left / there aren't many left

Are all answers on the question idiomatic? I saw the second answer in my English training course, but my version was the first answer. I don't understand why "there isn't much left" is used ...
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"It's quite full up this year." vs "They are quite full up this year." [duplicate]

How do you choose what pronoun to use "It" or "They" if "They" is also used as a gender-free singular? Is there no any logic? It's quite full up this year. They are ...
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left it to us, as a basic exercise, to V

I'd like to know if the pronoun "it" can be dropped in the following. What'd be the correct analysis? The teacher left it to us, as a basic exercise, to sort the balls into different colors....
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for us to condone such actions

a. It will damage our country's reputation for us to condone such actions. b. For us to condone such actions will damage our country's reputation. ======================= c. It will damage our country'...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Is it incorrect to leave out the impersonal "it" in the following sentence?

To me, sentences "I hate that you can swim and I can't" and "I hate it that you can swim and I can't" are both correct, and including an impersonal "it" is only a matter ...
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"This", "that" and "it" difference

I know the difference between "that" and "this" that "this" is used to point to something near you, while "that" is used to refer to something far from you, but ...
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What does "it" refer to in "make it into the knockout stage"? [closed]

There is a sentence in a newspaper Revisit the Rugby World Cup - the first hosted in Asia and the first to see Japan make it into the knockout stage -with some of the best images of all the highs ...
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Have to parse "appreciate it if."

I will appreciate it if you can help me. Someone says "it" is the dummy object, with the if-clause being the real one. I doubt it , because if that is the case, "if" can be replaced with "whether", ...
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"You and I" or "you and me"

"You and I" is supposed to be used in the subject of the sentence. If the sentence starts with "It's you and I", does that mean it's supposed to be "you and me" because "It" is the subject and "you ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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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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"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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1 vote
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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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28 votes
5 answers
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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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1 vote
1 answer
53 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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2 votes
1 answer
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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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1 vote
3 answers
652 views

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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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'...
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4 votes
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“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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2 votes
2 answers
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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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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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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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7 votes
3 answers
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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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3 votes
3 answers
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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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4 votes
4 answers
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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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3 answers
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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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7 votes
1 answer
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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 (...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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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6 votes
3 answers
259 views

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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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