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    #1

    What does "it" refer to?

    Hello, teachers!

    Would you take a look at the following?

    In contrast, there isn't a great deal that goes on in the universe that astronomers can't find when they have a mind to. Which is whyit is all the more remarkable to reflect that until 1978 no-one had ever noticed that Pluto has a moon. In the summer of that year, a young astronomer named James Christy at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, was making a routine examination of photographic images of Pluto when he saw that there was something there --- something blurry and uncertain but definitely other than Pluto. Consulting ...

    Q1: What does "Which is why" refer to in this case?

    Does it refer to the sentence "there isn't a great deal that goes on in the universe that astronomers can't find when they have a mind to"?
    If not, would you let me know the part which "Which is why" refers to?

    Q2: What does "it" refer to in this case?

    Does it refer to "to reflect that until ... a moon"? Or does it refer to there isn't a great deal that does on in the universe that astronomers can't find when they have a mind to"?

    Q3: What does "to reflect that ..." mean in this case unless the part is what "it" refers to?


    Thank you very much in advance for your help, teachers!


    yam.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What does "it" refer to?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamyam View Post
    Hello, teachers!

    Would you take a look at the following?

    In contrast, there isn't a great deal that goes on in the universe that astronomers can't find when they have a mind to. Which is whyit is all the more remarkable to reflect that until 1978 no-one had ever noticed that Pluto has a moon. In the summer of that year, a young astronomer named James Christy at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, was making a routine examination of photographic images of Pluto when he saw that there was something there --- something blurry and uncertain but definitely other than Pluto. Consulting ...

    Q1: What does "Which is why" refer to in this case?

    Does it refer to the sentence "there isn't a great deal that goes on in the universe that astronomers can't find when they have a mind to"?
    If not, would you let me know the part which "Which is why" refers to?

    Q2: What does "it" refer to in this case?

    Does it refer to "to reflect that until ... a moon"? Or does it refer to there isn't a great deal that does on in the universe that astronomers can't find when they have a mind to"?

    Q3: What does "to reflect that ..." mean in this case unless the part is what "it" refers to?


    Thank you very much in advance for your help, teachers!


    yam.
    The sentence should be written " ... that astronomers can't find when they have a mind to, which is why it is all the more remarkable to reflect ..."
    "Which" refers to the whole preceding part of the sentence.
    "It" is "impersonal it". The Impersonal 'it'
    "Reflect" means to think or ponder.

    Sometimes people start a new sentence with "which". Which is usually not a good idea.

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: What does "it" refer to?

    Thank you very much for the reply, Raymott.
    Your explanation is helpful and instructive to me.
    Thanks, again

    yam

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