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  1. tkacka15's Avatar
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    #1

    it

    "Willetts, a highly respected figure who left parliament at the May election and now heads the independent Resolution Foundation thinktank, says in an article for the Observer that the fruits of prosperity are not being shared across age groups but rather pumped excessively into making the lives of pensioners more comfortable. “The decline of pensioner poverty is good news,” Willetts argues. “But not enough of it is a story of wider prosperity enjoyed by everyone.”" [From The Guardian.]

    Does the pronoun "it" in the phrase "not enough of it" refer to "good news" in the above context?

    Thank you.
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

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    #2

    Re: it

    Yes--in Willetts's statement, "good news" is the noun most immediately preceding the pronoun "it," making "good news" the antecedent. "Good news," in turn, describes "the decline in pensioner poverty."

    So overall, Willetts is saying: "Not enough of the decline in pensioner poverty reflects wider prosperity, even though the decline is good news."

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    #3

    Re: it

    Forgive me for being pedantic; I agree, Claritas, that Willetts is saying that; but I think the answer to tkacka's question is "no". I think the it refers to the decline.

    If the answer were "yes" the second clause would mean not enough good news is a story......

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: it

    I believe that "it" refers to "the decline in pensioner poverty".
    The piece goes on: Too much is a specific generation benefiting in an unrepeatable way. Some is a deliberate decision to help people above a certain age and so younger people might hope one day to gain..."
    The bolded words refer to the same thing as "it" does.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 27-Oct-2015 at 20:37. Reason: Standardised font size

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    #5

    Re: it

    Just a point for those of us being really pedantic; I inferred the meaning almost by instinct for this sentence. What about Claritas's point about the antecedent to the clause/word? How did we know the noun referred to was decline?
    Was it because the noun decline was the subjectof the 1st clause? The noun news was nearer the it....

    The ball hit the wicket but it was travelling very fast. 2 nouns, 1 "it" .... how do know which noun it is? ( I know, but I don't know the theoretical reason)

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: it

    In my opinion "it" refers to the fruits of prosperity.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: it

    Can you demonstrate how you came to this opinion? You could start with showing why "fruits of prosperity" is referred to by 'it' rather than 'they'. And then explain how "fruits of prosperity" applies to the following lines.
    Last edited by Raymott; 28-Oct-2015 at 06:48.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by Peedeebee View Post
    The ball hit the wicket but it was travelling very fast. 2 nouns, 1 "it" .... how do know which noun it is? ( I know, but I don't know the theoretical reason)
    Balls travel very fast. Wickets don't. It's pragmatics.
    "I tipped the last olive out of the jar and ate it." (The olive)
    "He had the evidence on a sheet of paper. So I broke into his house and burnt it." (The sheet of paper)

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    #9

    Re: it

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


    Hello, Tkacka:

    One poster says "it" = "good news."
    Two posters say "it" = "the decline of pensioner poverty."
    One poster says "it" = "fruits of prosperity."

    Well, if we substitute each possible answer, we get:

    "The fruits of prosperity are not being shared across age groups but rather [are being] pumped into making the lives of pensioners [retired people] more comfortable. The decline of pensioner poverty is [,of course,] good news, but not enough of [the] good news is a story of wider prosperity enjoyed by everyone."

    "The fruits of prosperity are not being shared across age groups but rather pumped into making the lives of pensioners more comfortable. The decline of pensioner poverty is good news, but not enough of [the] decline of poverty is a story of wider prospertiy enjoyed by everyone."

    "The fruits of prosperity are not being shared across age groups but rather pumped into making the lives of pensioners more comfortable. The decline of pensioner poverty is good news, but not enough of the fruits of prosperity is a story of wider prosperity enjoyed by everyone."

    I think (think!) that I know what the antecedent is, but I certainly do not have the confidence to say it.

    What about you?

  6. tkacka15's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Tkacka:

    One poster says "it" = "good news."
    Two posters say "it" = "the decline of pensioner poverty."
    One poster says "it" = "fruits of prosperity."

    Well, if we substitute each possible answer, we get:

    "The fruits of prosperity are not being shared across age groups but rather [are being] pumped into making the lives of pensioners [retired people] more comfortable. The decline of pensioner poverty is [,of course,] good news, but not enough of [the] good news is a story of wider prosperity enjoyed by everyone."

    "The fruits of prosperity are not being shared across age groups but rather pumped into making the lives of pensioners more comfortable. The decline of pensioner poverty is good news, but not enough of [the] decline of poverty is a story of wider prospertiy enjoyed by everyone."

    "The fruits of prosperity are not being shared across age groups but rather pumped into making the lives of pensioners more comfortable. The decline of pensioner poverty is good news, but not enough of the fruits of prosperity is a story of wider prosperity enjoyed by everyone."

    I think (think!) that I know what the antecedent is, but I certainly do not have the confidence to say it.

    What about you?
    Thank you, The Parser, for your insightful reply.

    I've got to admit that I'm a bit confused.

    I've tried to employ some logic to that as I'm lacking in the native speaker's intuition. My first understanding was "good news" as the antecedent of "it" as the pronoun in question follows directly the complement in the sentence The decline of pensioner poverty is good news, i.e. "good news". But now I'm inclined to assume that the pronoun "it" may refer to the whole sentence, i.e. to the statement The decline of pensioner poverty is good news. In other words, "it" is put there to avoid repetition of the whole sentence (statement).
    Last edited by tkacka15; 28-Oct-2015 at 21:40.
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

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