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    #1

    Smile Help with pronouns

    Hello,

    I am having difficulties with pronouns (personal pronouns to be more specific). There are times when I don't know whether if I should use them or not. For example, 'I have to believe in what I think is ( or it's? ) true'. 'There are things we cannot say are (or they are??) true'. For instance, I've always heard the sentence, 'if there is something I know, it's that...' why is the 'it' needed here? Why couldn't the sentence be, 'if there is something I know, is that...'. What rule should I follow?? How can I know when to use a pronoun and when not to use one?

    Thanks

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    #2

    Re: Help with pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by bleiva View Post
    Hello,

    I am having difficulties with pronouns (personal pronouns to be more specific). There are times when I don't know whether if I should use them or not. For example, 'I have to believe in what I think is ( or it's? ) true'. 'There are things we cannot say are (or they are??) true'. For instance, I've always heard the sentence, 'if there is something I know, it's that...' why is the 'it' needed here? Why couldn't the sentence be, 'if there is something I know, is that...'. What rule should I follow?? How can I know when to use a pronoun and when not to use one?

    Thanks

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Bleiva,


    (1) I think that I may understand your problem. It is absolutely

    necessary to remember that every sentence in English must start with a

    subject. For example: It is Monday. In some languages, people

    simply say: "Is Monday." English does not accept that. (Yes, there

    are exceptions: Sit down. I do not have to say: You sit down.)

    (2) "If there is something (that) I know, it is that health is the

    most important thing in life."

    You have two clauses:

    "It is that health ... in life." = main clause.

    "If there is something (that) I know. = adverbial clause.

    Remember the rule? Every sentence must begin with a subject.

    In the case of your sentence, the subject is it. If the word it did

    not exist, then we would have to say something like:

    If there is something that I know, the something that I know is that
    health is the most important thing in life.

    It is so much shorter to use a pronoun (pro = for; noun = noun). "It"

    takes the place of 5 words!!!


    *****

    (3) "I have to believe in what I think is true."

    (a) This is more dfficult to explain.

    (b) I think that there are two ways to analyze "what." For our

    analysis, let me take the easier analysis. Just call it an indefinite

    relative pronoun.

    (c) Tom: I have to believe in something.

    Sue: In something? What something?

    Tom: What I think is true.

    Now let's analyze "What I think is true."

    That sentence already has a subject. So an "it" is not necessary.

    ______ (subject) + is (verb) true (complement).

    The subject is "What I think." (That is -- only for analysis, not in

    speech or writing -- "I think what." "What" is the object of "think.")

    Those three words are the subject. So no need for another subject!!!

    (If you will translate "What I think is true" into Spanish, you will

    understand that "What I think" is the subject of that sentence.)


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

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    #3

    Re: Help with pronouns

    Quote Originally Posted by bleiva View Post
    Hello,

    I am having difficulties with pronouns (personal pronouns to be more specific). There are times when I don't know whether if I should use them or not. For example,
    'I have to believe in what I think is ( or it's? ) true'.

    'There are things we cannot say are (or they are??) true'.

    'If there is something I know, it's that...' why is the 'it' needed here? Because'If there is something I know,' is a dependent clause. 'it's that........' is the independent clause and the independent clause needs a subject, which is 'it'.
    Why couldn't the sentence be, 'if there is something I know, is that...'. "is that" is question grammar, used to ask a question. So that's entirely different from 'If there is something I know, it's that...'.

    Ask about other situations you are unsure about.

    Thanks
    2006

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    #4

    Smile Re: Help with pronouns

    Thanks a lot for your explanations, I really appreciate them. I'm starting to understand... I know that every sentence must start with a subject, but the problem is that sometimes I can't tell when I have more than one clause, just like in the 'if there is one thing I know, it's that...' example. I thought of the other two examples myself, but then I started doubting and therefore decided to ask whether if they were correct or not (I didn't know if I needed to add a pronoun or not). However, this 'problem ' has been bothering me for a while because there are times when I can't identify two different clauses; I know a clause must have a subject and a verb, just like in Spanish, but...I still get confused sometimes. I will read your explanations again, and try to understand them again. Thank you so much for your help, I think I'm starting to understand.

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