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  1. #1
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    Default Toefl test question

    My family never really wanted to make so many moves, but it had to do so. Because it was necessary for my father's career, we moved almost every year.

    In this sentence why is the pronoun it used why not the pronoun we?

    Thank you,
    Diane Tharachai


  2. #2
    2006 is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: Toefl test question

    Quote Originally Posted by dtharachai View Post
    My family never really wanted to make so many moves, but it had to do so. Because it was necessary for my father's career, we moved almost every year.

    In this sentence why is the pronoun it used why not the pronoun we?

    Thank you,
    Diane Tharachai
    Because the writer considered "family" to be an it, that is singular. But in the second sentence "we" refers to the family members.
    Some people consider words like family and team to be singular, while others consider them to be plural. Of course the only way family and team can be plural is if you really mean family members and team members.

    So, in the first sentence "family" is considered to be singular. (I consider family to be a singular noun; families is a plural noun)
    In the second sentence "we" obviously refers to the family members.

    I hope that at least partly clears up the confusion.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Toefl test question

    I fully agree with 2006's explanation, yet must add that I am as perplexed as you are about the writer's use of impersonal it instead of personal we. If I had the chance to speak to the author--which I don't--I would ask why s/he coreferenced personal My family with impersonal it. It sounds rather awkward, I agree. Now, the family coreferenced with it works just fine. The two are impersonal.

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