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    #11

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I replaced "it" with "this" in your sentence.
    But you didn't replace 'it' in my last question: ''If Swan's example is natural, does it differ from mine regarding the choice of pronoun? 'It' works here, doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Jutfrank, can you chime in and shed some light on this fraught subject? I'm especially interested in why "it" works fine in Swan's sentence about the pink house, as it clearly does.
    Jutfrank, you just can't be an absent observer this time.
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    #12

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    But you didn't replace 'it' in my last question: ''If Swan's example is natural, does it differ from mine regarding the choice of pronoun? 'It' works here, doesn't it?
    Yes, and "this" wouldn't without changing the punctuation.
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    #13

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    So, we have three examples:

    1) So she decided to paint her house pink. It/this/that upset the neighbours a bit.

    2) If Swan's example is natural, does it differ from mine regarding the choice of pronoun?

    3) You said,
    'This' and 'that' point at something — in this case, text that's nearby or at least a little further away." Doesn't this mean that 'it' is more appropriate when referential text is further away, as it is in my case?

    The question is: why do they differ regarding the choice of pronouns?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 19-May-2020 at 16:15.
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    #14

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    The main reason I haven't joined in on this thread, or indeed of several of the threads you have started, Alexey, is that I feel that it is simply not possible to say that every speaker (even of just one dialect) would use one, and only one, of the words/phrases being discussed. Even where there is general agreement that one is highly unlikely, or even 'wrong', it is not always easy to say exactly why. It is equally difficult to say sometimes why one is the correct/natural/appropriate one.

    Explanations given by grammarians and writers of style guides, as well as by the more informed members of this forum, can be very helpful, but they are guidelines, not infallible rules. The more we look at certain language situations, the more difficult it is sometimes to give a completely satisfactory answer to the question 'Why?'.

    (Rather off-topic, but not, I hope, totally irrelevant:) I have worked for years on the tense system of English. I now feel that I understand it pretty well. I occasionally somewhat immodestly feel that some of the ideas I have come up with are more sound, simple and useful than the explanations given in many student course books and grammars, and in some more academic works. BUT, there are occasions, not all that uncommon, when, asked which of two tense/aspect forms is correct/better appropriate in a given context, I have to say that each is equally good. While there is usually some difference in meaning however slight, between tense/aspect A and tense/aspect B, there are situations in which there appear to be none. And yet, in an apparently very similar context, one is better than the other.

    Why?

    If I knew, I'd be famous.

    ps, I am not in any way saying that you are wrong in trying to find answers to your questions and follow-up questions. I have found great satisfaction in trying to find answers to questions about English tenses and modals, and I hope that some of the responses you receive in your threads here will be useful to you. I am, however, suggesting that you may sometimes have to accept that there is sometimes no completely satisfactory answer to the question 'Why?'
    Last edited by GoesStation; 19-May-2020 at 18:39. Reason: Remove a stray word.
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    #15

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I am, however, suggesting that you may sometimes have to accept that there is sometimes no completely satisfactory answer to the question 'Why?'
    I totally understand that. There are many things in Russian I can't explain even to myself, but I still can use them correctly because I just feel what is right and wrong.
    My knowledge and sense of English isn't good enough to use it without analysis and explanations. In this particular case the problem is that in Russian we would use the same pronoun in all three examples. That's why I need at least a partially satisfactory explanation or guide.

    I would be happy if you would share your personal thoughts and insights on the subject.
    Last edited by Alexey86; 19-May-2020 at 18:33. Reason: fixing a typo
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    #16

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post

    I would be happy if you would share your personal thoughts and insights on the subject.
    Sorry, but I honestly don't think I have anything of value to add to this thread.
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    #17

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    If you can restate the main question clearly and concisely, Alexey, I'll have a go at answering ...

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    #18

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    If you can restate the main question clearly and concisely, Alexey, I'll have a go at answering ...
    I'm not sure how exactly I should restate my question. I thought I put it as clear as possible in post #13:

    So, we have three examples:


    1) So she decided to paint her house pink. It/this/that upset the neighbours a bit.

    2) If Swan's example is natural, does it differ from mine regarding the choice of pronoun?

    3) You said,
    'This' and 'that' point at something — in this case, text that's nearby or at least a little further away." Doesn't this mean that 'it' is more appropriate when referential text is further away, as it is in my case?

    The question is: why do they differ regarding the choice of pronouns?

    To put it more generally, I'd like to know in what cases we can use: a) all three pronouns as referential pro-forms/substitutes, b) only 'it', c) only 'this/that'.
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    #19

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    I can easily see Swan's sentence, but which is the one you're describing as 'mine'?

    And why do what differ? The three choices in 1)? Sorry, I can't even understand the question. Because I haven't been following the thread, I can't work out what you're thinking about.

    Perhaps you're wondering very generally about the differences between this/that/it?

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    #20

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I can easily see Swan's sentence, but which is the one you're describing as 'mine'?
    'Mine' refers to the third one. But I think it's of little importance (see below).

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    And why do what differ? The three choices in 1)? Sorry, I can't even understand the question. Because I haven't been following the thread, I can't work out what you're thinking about.
    It isn't really necessary to follow the thread. I believe the three examples above are self-sufficient and can be considered without more context. I've gathered them from different replies as illustrations of the difference I'm talking about: 1) all three pronouns are possible, 2) only 'it' works, 3) only 'this/that' work. Why is it so?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Perhaps you're wondering very generally about the differences between this/that/it?
    Basically, yes. I just hope the analysis of the three examples will reveal the key differences between these pronouns as anaphoric substitutes.
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