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Thread: turn

  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    turn

    The sentence:

    It is your turn to drive.

    A friend of mine insists "it" above is what is gramatically called "preparatory subject" as in:

    It is very important to study English.= To study English is very important.

    Is it really so? I mean, if it is preparatory, it should be equal to "To drive is your turn", which, at least to me, sounds very weird.

  2. #2
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    Re: turn

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    The sentence:

    It is your turn to drive.

    A firend of mine insists "it" above is what is gramatically called "preparatory subject" as in:

    It is very important to study English.= To study English is very important.

    Is it really so? I mean, if it is preparatory, it should be equal to "To drive is your turn", which, at least to me, sounds very weird.
    I do not agree with your friend.

  3. #3
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: turn

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    I do. :D
    Really??

    Why?

    I mean, if I asked you "Who is supposed to do the dishes?", would you say "To do the dishes is your turn"??? As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't.

  4. #4
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: turn

    Let me make sure one thing, Cas. When you say "I do", you mean you do agree with my friend? Or you mean you agree with me and twostep?

    I thought you agreed with my friend, but after reading your reply, it seems that you're thinking this problem in the same way as mine: in B the infinitive does not function as the semantic subject, and therefore "it" is not preparatory.

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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: turn

    Check Azar, Swan's Practical English Usage, or whatever. You'll see it's not new at all.

    Then, when "it" of "It is your turn to drive" is not a pronoun, referring to nothing, can't "it" be the same kind of expletive as "it" in "It is raining"?

    (I'm afraid we understand the concept of preparatory subject differently. My understanding is, if "it" is excangeable for the semantic subject of a sentence, then it is preparatory, which is different from expletive. What is yours?)

    And what kind of infinitive is it here grammatically? I think no matter what "it" is, "to drive" is adjective modifying "your turn".

  6. #6
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: turn

    So, unless it is a pronoun, is "it" in "It's your turn to drive" is almost the same as the one in "It's raining"? And is the infinitive "to drive" adjective?

  7. #7
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: turn

    Read carefully the comments I've posted here, Cas. I already told you. :wink:

  8. #8
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: turn

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Ibid. :wink:
    Ibid What do you mean by that?

  9. #9
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: turn

    tdol, I think I need your intervention here.

    What do you think?

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    This is a very tricky question. In definitions like Swan's, it isn't a preparatory subject and I can see you case for distinguishing it because it does have a different function. An empty subject, the expletive Cas talks of, doesn't seem to have exactly the same function as 'it' in 'it is important to learn'. The empty subject exists to fill a lacuna that can't be filled in any other way, whereas preparatory subjects can be substituted in other ways. I think that 'it is your turn' and 'it is raining' are different from 'it is important'- they are all expletives, but that doesn't mean they are all preparatory subjects in my book.

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