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Questions tagged [expletive-pronoun]

"Expletive pronoun," or "dummy pronoun," is the term used for "it" when used in sentences similar to "It is raining."

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2 answers
773 views

Is "It is happy to hear that." (meaning the speaker is happy to hear that) grammatical and idiomatic?

Some native speakers of English around me think the following are not good, while some others find them to be OK. It is happy to hear that. (meaning "I (the speaker) am happy to hear that."...
1 vote
1 answer
63 views

It'll make it quicker [closed]

Is "It'll make it quicker" natural in the following dialogue? Peter: Why not take the taxi to the airport? John: Great idea! It'll make it quicker (by taxi). I'd appreciate your help.
1 vote
1 answer
34 views

It's/this is my dream being

It's my dream being on a TV show like this. This is my dream being on a TV show like this. Are they both correct?
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

there is evident a serious and purposeful rekindling of confidence

Within us, the people of the United States, there is evident a serious and purposeful rekindling of confidence. This sentence is from "Jimmy Carter inaugural address: Jan. 20, 1977" shown here. What ...
3 votes
2 answers
4k views

"It's cold today" -- what term do linguists use to call "it" when it's used as the subject of a sentence, but has no real antecedent?

Could you please remind me what term linguists and the grammar people use to call it when it's used as a subject pronoun, but the funky thing is that it doesn't really refer back to anything in ...
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Is "a few seconds before" an idiom?

It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realized that the man was wearing a violet cloak. He didn't seem at all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. Source: Harry Potter and the ...
6 votes
3 answers
267 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
195 views

Is 'it' a pronoun or expletive in this sentence?

"Well, Ted," said the weatherman, "I don't know about that, but it's not only the owls that have been acting oddly today. Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire, and Dundee have been phoning in ...
8 votes
1 answer
378 views

Using "it" as dummy pronoun

When I translate an Italian sentence, I often use the "dummy it" to keep the same structure of the Italian sentence. For example, translating è stato difficile trovare il colpevole, I would say "it ...
1 vote
1 answer
491 views

What do these pronouns mean?

It was a mark of how bad the last week had been that the other two agreed with him. Anything to get rid of Norbert –– and Malfoy. There was a hitch. By the next morning, Ron's bitten hand [by ...
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Is "this way" the subject?

The pain in Harry's head was so bad he fell to his knees. It took a minute or two to pass. When he looked up, the figure had gone. A centaur was standing over him, not Ronan or Bane; this one looked ...
3 votes
1 answer
217 views

Do masked expletives take the same special characters or different?

I often read sentences with masked expletives (is this term correct?) just to avoid offensive words being expressed with their full spellings. Though just one letter would convey the word. My ...