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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    usage of it

    hello

    I would like to learn some usages of "it" as a subject.

    For example; I saw this sentence below somewhere which was used by a native speaker.

    "it blows me away how amazing he is"

    can we use the same sentence structure to make similar sentences
    for example, are my sentences below correct and do they make sense like this one

    it determines my level of friendship how clever one person is.
    or
    it helps me to decide how much care he deserves what position that person hold in the company.

  2. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: usage of it

    'It' is not the subject in any of the phrases you have written.

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    #3

    Re: usage of it

    [QUOTE=makme;813901]

    I would like to learn some usages of "it" as a subject.


    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) My teachers taught me that "it" in "It blows me away how amazing he is"

    is the formal subject. That is, it is not the "real" subject, but native speakers

    seem to like to start a sentence when the real subject is a clause (sentence).

    (a) Here is an example from Mr. Michael Swan's Practical English Usage:

    It is surprising how many unhappy marriages there are.

    In other words, you could say: How many unhappy marriages there are is surprising.

    But native speakers feel that "preparing" you for the real subject is more felicitous

    (nice sounding).

    (2) So you could analyze your sentence like this:

    It + blows me away + how amazing he is. = It (how amazing he is) blows me away.

    Many books tell us that "how amazing he is" is in apposition with "it." That is, it

    explains what "it" refers to. If you said to your best friend "It blows me away," your

    friend would ask "What blows you away?" And you would reply "Oh, sorry. How

    amazing he is."

    (a) If you wish to, you could simply say "How amazing he is blows me away," but as

    Mr. Swan taught us, native speakers prefer to use "preparatory it" in many cases.

    (3) It is only my opinion that your two other sentences are not too felicitous. I personally would not start them with preparatory "it." Maybe something like:


    How clever a person is determines my degree of friendship with that person.

    What position a person holds in the company determines how much respect she or he deserves.

    (a) I would use "it" in something like:

    It is incredible how clever Mona is!

    It doesn't matter to me what position a person holds in the company. I show respect to everyone.

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