Interested in Language
Are both sentences below correct ones or an empty subject "it" and a coma are missed in #1?
1. Whether or not the verb is a past subjunctive is irrelevant.
2. It is irrelevant whether or not the verb is a past subjunctive.
The reason some people feel the need for a comma there is that, in speech, we often make an almost imperceptible pause after a very long subject and before the verb I think we do this subconsciously, probably as a sign that the over-long subject is now complete.
I must now confess that many people would regard my construction in that sentence (which I used in another thread) as rather formal, old-fashioned and/or cumbersome. Most people would express the thought as in #2, which is somewhat more transparent I have to, reluctantly, admit.