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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    "It is worth all

    Marva Collins was a schoolteacher in Chicago's inner city in the early 1970s, a place where crimes were widespread and hope and optimism were scarce. In 1975 Collins founded a school for children in her neighborhood. The students, many of whom had been rejected from other schools and deemed unteachable, learned to read Shakespeare and Emerson by the fourth grade. For more than twenty years, Collins struggled financially to keep the school alive and was often on the verge of closing. But she never lost sight of her vision, recognizing happiness as the ultimate end. Reflecting on one of her students, Collins says, "It is worth all the sleepless nights wondering how I am going to payoff our debts to see the glow in his eyes that will one day light the world."

    Is this a grammatically wrong sentence? Is a word missing in it? This is hard to understand. What does "it" refer to?
    Does it refer to "to see the glow in his eyes that will one day light the world"?

    It is worth all the sleepless nights wondering how I am going to payoff our debts to see the glow in his eyes that will one day light the world."

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    #2

    Re: "It is worth all

    It is a dummy pronoun there which doesn't refer to anything. It is worth all the sleepless nights is another way to say All the sleepless nights are worthwhile.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "It is worth all

    Do dummy nouns refer to either something or nothing? In Korea, we call such nouns 'false subject'.
    These are false subjects.

    It is hard to find out historical evidence.
    It is hard working out everyday.

    I think "it's worth volunteering for the old" like this thread's example is a very rare case of dummy nouns.

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    #4

    Re: "It is worth all

    It sounds like the Korean "false subject" works like the English dummy pronoun. French has the same construction. It's inaccurate to call it rare, though; I've used it twice in this short post.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "It is worth all

    I learned that false subject or dummy pronoun must have its true subject in the sentence. This kind of dummy pronoun without referring to anything, I haven't learned.

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