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    #1

    it

    Which are correct:

    1-The old man, he was sleeping.
    2-The money, it was on the table.

    3-Money, it was everywhere.
    4-Money, it was hard to find.
    5-Books, they were scattered on the floor.

    "1" and "2" seem fine to me but I have doubts about "3", "4" and "5".

    I think "4" might be interpreted as "It was hard to find money." I mean the "it" might be interpreted to be a "prop it" and not a pronoun replacing "money".
    Consider:
    6-John, I saw.
    7-John, it was easy to see.
    Last edited by navi tasan; 26-Jul-2011 at 11:29.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Which are correct:

    1-The old man, he was sleeping.
    2-The money, it was on the table.

    3-Money, it was everywhere.
    4-Money, it was hard to find.
    5-Books, they were scattered on the floor.

    "1" and "2" seem fine to me but I have doubts about "3", "4" and "5".

    I think "4" might be interpreted as "It was hard to find money." I mean the "it" might be interpreted to be a "prop it" and not a pronoun replacing "money".
    Consider:
    6-John, I saw.
    7-John, it was easy to see.
    They're all grammatically correct, including 3, 4 and 5 BUT I can't see how 4 could mean anything except "It was hard to find money". What do you mean by "it might be interpreted to be a prop it"?

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    #3

    Re: it

    Thanks emsr2d2.

    Well the meaning of the two readings would be the same anyway but grammatically there would be a difference.

    Consider:
    John, he was easy to bribe.
    he=John

    John, I bribed.=I bribed John.
    (The object is "fronted" in the underlined sentence.)


    Can't I say:
    A-John, it was easy to bribe.=It was easy to bribe John. (Here the "it" is a "prop it" and the object has been "fronted")
    The thing is that I am not sure this is correct. I do not use this kind of sentence.

    The question basically is whether "A" is correct or not.
    If it is, then "4" could be read in two ways (but the meaning would still be the same.)

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Thanks emsr2d2.

    Well the meaning of the two readings would be the same anyway but grammatically there would be a difference.

    Consider:
    John, he was easy to bribe.
    he=John

    John, I bribed.=I bribed John.
    (The object is "fronted" in the underlined sentence.)


    Can't I say:
    A-John, it was easy to bribe.=It was easy to bribe John. (Here the "it" is a "prop it" and the object has been "fronted")
    The thing is that I am not sure this is correct. I do not use this kind of sentence.

    The question basically is whether "A" is correct or not.
    If it is, then "4" could be read in two ways (but the meaning would still be the same.)
    "John, it was easy to bribe" = "It was easy to bribe John". I wouldn't use the former as a standard replacement for the latter, though. I would be more inclined to use it when comparing John with someone else or perhaps already talking about bribery. For example:

    I met with John and Paul last night. I was trying to bribe both of them but Paul was not prepared to take my money in exchange for his silence. John, it was easy to bribe!

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    #5

    Re: it

    How did Ringo act throughout the whole thing?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    They're all grammatically correct, including 3, 4 and 5 BUT I can't see how 4 could mean anything except "It was hard to find money". What do you mean by "it might be interpreted to be a prop it"?
    What am I missing ? Whatever happened to the rule of not placing a pronoun directly after its antecedent?

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    #7

    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    What am I missing ? Whatever happened to the rule of not placing a pronoun directly after its antecedent?
    Don't look at me! I didn't move the rules. I never knew where they were in the first place. That's why I was first and foremost a "use of English" teacher.

    I know that I have most certainly used the construction ("Now peas, those I like", "My brother, he was hard to please" etc) and I would say that it's instantly understood and probably used by a large proportion of native speakers. No?

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    #8

    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    What am I missing ? Whatever happened to the rule of not placing a pronoun directly after its antecedent?
    Never heard of it. Could you elaborate, please? I'm intrigued.

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    #9

    Re: it

    Although the sentences discussed above are acceptable in the right context,, we would normally say that these sentences are unacceptable:

    The old man he was sleeping.
    The money it was on the table.
    Books they were scattered on the floor.

    We
    use either the noun or the pronoun, not both.Note that I have deleted the comma from the original sentences; that makes a big difference.

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    #10

    Re: it

    Oh, I see what you mean, thanks.
    I don't remember being taught this rule as such, though. Well, there are a lot of things I don't remember. Anyway, the difference between these sentences and the examples posted before appears clear to me. As you point out, context and the use of the comma make a big difference.

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