Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: it II

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,917
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default it II

    Which of these is correct:
    1-It was your house which was broken into.
    2-It was last night when I saw him.
    3-It was your house the window of which was broken.

    4-It was to Jeff that I gave the box.

    5-It was your house I broke the window of.


    (I have to admit that I've managed to confuse myself pretty badly over this it thing.)

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: it II

    All of them are correct, but #3 is quite awkward.

    1-It was your house which was broken into.
    It wasn't some other house.

    2-It was last night when I saw him.
    I saw him last night.

    3-It was your house the window of which was broken.
    A window was broken in your house.

    4-It was to Jeff that I gave the box.
    I gave the box to Jeff.

    5-It was your house I broke the window of.
    I broke the window of your house.

    8)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    103
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: it II

    Number 3 sounds too awkward. I don't think anyone would say that. I would rather avoid the construction altogether and say it without a relative clause: A window of your house was broken.
    If you really must insist on the relative, what about this option: It was your house whose window was broken.? Still awkward ...

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,527
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: it II

    Would changing 'was' to 'got' make it any less stilted?


  5. #5
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,917
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: it II

    Thanks everybody.
    I have managed to come up with three more of these confusing "it" sentences. What do you think of these?

    A-It was by John that the method was invented.
    B-It was John by whom the method was invented.
    C-It was John the method was invented by.

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: it II

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Thanks everybody.
    I have managed to come up with three more of these confusing "it" sentences. What do you think of these?

    A-It was by John that the method was invented.
    B-It was John by whom the method was invented.
    C-It was John the method was invented by.
    For both A & B:

    1. John invented the method. (active voice)
    2. John is the one who invented the method.
    3. The method was invented by John.
    4. It was John who invented the method.

    IMO, sentence C is not an English sentence.

    8)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    103
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: it II

    One of these years I'll work how this quote thing works, meanwhile I'll just ramble on ...
    I agree with you Ronbee in that C isn't English. Even though the others may be 'correct' I don't think anyone would use them. I much prefer your options.
    Navi, did you take those sentences from a book? If so, maybe you should buy a different book.

  8. #8
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: it II

    Those "it" sentences (as navi tasan describes them) are used, but they aren't used very often.

    (I generally prefer active voice, altho passive voice is sometimes better.)

    8)

  9. #9
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,917
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: it II

    Thanks for your replies.
    I didn't read these sentences. I made them up to find out what was acceptable and what was not.
    I think this type of sentence is technically called a "cleft" sentence, but I just call them "it" sentences!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk