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  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    it

    Can one use 2 instead of 1, if the context makes it clear that it is a question of the wife and the children's being in danger?

    1-"He has to be informed. After all, it is his wife and his children who are in danger."
    2-"He has to be informed. After all, it is his wife and his children."

    (In other words, can the "who are in danger" be ellipted?)

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Can one use 2 instead of 1, if the context makes it clear that it is a question of the wife and the children's being in danger?

    1-"He has to be informed. After all, it is his wife and his children who are in danger."
    2-"He has to be informed. After all, it is his wife and his children."

    (In other words, can the "who are in danger" be ellipted?)
    I'd say so, yes.
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Can one use 2 instead of 1, if the context makes it clear that it is a question of the wife and the children's being in danger?

    1-"He has to be informed. After all, it is his wife and his children who are in danger."
    2-"He has to be informed. After all, it is his wife and his children."

    (In other words, can the "who are in danger" be ellipted?)
    First of all, there is no mention of danger in the second sentence. It is not ellipsis unless the concept is mentioned elsewhere. Second, the second sentence is not grammatically correct. When you remove the relative clause, the sentence changes from a "dummy it" construction to a simple declarative sentence. It should be "they are his wife and his children."

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    It would imply some sort of a problem, but not necessarily danger.

  5. #5
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Re: it

    Well, I was assuming that the context would make things clear. Consider a similar situation:
    -"His wife and child are missing, but we better not tell him. He'll get worried."
    -"But we have to tell him. It's his wife and his child."
    Isn't this OK?

  6. #6
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    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Well, I was assuming that the context would make things clear. Consider a similar situation:
    -"His wife and child are missing, but we better not tell him. He'll get worried."
    -"But we have to tell him. It's his wife and his child."
    Isn't this OK?
    I think it's perfectly okay. IMO, the context makes all the difference. It's quite clear what is intended. That usage is, I think, widely accepted.

    (There will, no doubt, be more opinions.)

    8)

  7. #7
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    Re: it

    I did a Google search for "It's his wife and it's his child." Oddly, I got no returns for that one. I got several for "It's his wife".

    Back to top Ideal Husband . A ring of the door-bell. He takes a son and they open the door together. It's his wife, a mother of their little son.
    See: www.geocities.com/tianakid/sketches.html

    He's not to blame for the affair, it's his wife, he says.
    See: http://www.onlineathens.com/1998/110...l.simpson.html

    I'm not sure why he's apologising. Isn't this
    where they agreed to meet, and it's his wife and son who are late?
    See: http://www.imaginaries.org/readmail....=crit&mId=1613

    If there's one subject that can make waves on Johnny's
    famously calm surface, it's his wife.
    See: http://www.hbo.com/sopranos/cast/cha...curatola.shtml

    Ah, that's the other part of making a move. The coach is already buried in official business. It's his wife who organizes and orchestrates the transition.
    See: http://espn.go.com/page2/s/mckendry/020125.html

    The abuse some Southeast Asian immigrant women face is tied to a cultural belief that a man is responsible for discipline -- even if it's his wife.
    See: www.s-t.com/projects/DomVio/immigrantsoften.HTML

    When told the younger Raghunauth skipped out on the important day of Hindu funeral services for his dead wife, leaving for New York to visit his fiance, Bud Raghunauth again admonished his son.

    "It's his wife, he should have been there. He's a sick man," he said in harsh voice.
    See: http://www.durhamregion.com/dr/regio...-1216546c.html

    It is, apparently, an expression that is widely used and understood.

    (I only got one return for "It's his wife and child.")

    8)

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    It sounds fine to me in those examples.

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