Posted by: helpforyourenglish | January 30, 2011

“It” as a subject

The word “it” is often used as the subject of a sentence.

1. Sometimes it is used as a reference to other words. For example: “I saw an accident yesterday. It happened at the market.”

In that sentence “it” = the accident.

We can say, “I saw an accident yesterday. The accident happened at the market.” or we can say, “I saw an accident yesterday. It happened at the market.” We know that “it” refers to ‘the accident’.

2. “It” can also be used instead of using a gerund as the subject of a sentence. For example:

It is a good idea to eat healthy food = Eating healthy food is a good idea.

It’s my ambition to become famous = Becoming famous is my ambition.

It won’t help you to lie to him = Lying to him won’t help you.

It will probably be more expensive for Tunisia to borrow on the open markets = Borrowing on the open markets will probably be more expensive for Tunisia.

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Responses

  1. a. It’ll be I – not you – who go to London tomorrow. (wrong/correct)
    b. It was a shame of you to scold your brother in public. (wrong/correct)

    If both sentences are wrong, could you point out the mistakes and how to rewrite them in correct English

  2. Hi bambang

    I think for (b) – ‘for’ is better than ‘of’. We could also change to the sentence to, “It was a shame that you scolded your brother in public.”

    For (a) there are two choices. I think your sentence is correct but very formal. You can make it less formal by using goes instead of go. b – “It’ll be I – not you – who goes to London tomorrow.” Or, “It’ll be I – not you – that goes to London tomorrow.


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