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  1. Moderator
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    #51

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    You will gradually fill in any gaps in your intuitive understanding of the use of it, this, and that if you read incessantly. Your time spent discussing analyses of these uses is time that might be better applied in such reading.

    You will also gain insight that may help you explain the subject should you find yourself having to teach it.
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    #52

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Believe me, I read. But reading itself isn't enough for further improvement in my comprehension of English. Watching thousands of paintings won't make you an art expert. You need to thoroughly analyze them for that purpose. After all, I just enjoy communicating with you all. Not to mention, it helps me improve my writing skills.
    Last edited by Alexey86; 29-May-2020 at 19:41.
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  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #53

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    Are you still interested in the discussion? If not, I understand.

    Yes. Sorry for my impatient tone earlier. Remember to give me just one question at a time.

    Okay, let's focus on what I called 'contradiction', if you haven't run out of patience yet.

    We have two pieces of dialogue:

    1) "To fall asleep is hard for him." "It's true."
    2) "You love money and power more than you love me"."It's true," I said. "And I'm sorry it's true."

    If I understood you correctly, all three pronouns are possible in the latter, and it's totally up to the responding person (his/her reference target) what to choose. But 'it' doesn't work in the former. Why is the content/truth condition reference is appropriate in (2) but not in (1)?

    Okay, yes, that is a good question to ask. Thank you for laying the sentences in question out again clearly like that. It really helps a lot.

    1) Well, you wrote this example yourself so I'm completely not comfortable trying to analyse it. My approach is to look at authentic use, and try to understand why the speaker spoke as he did. The problem with this example is that it's both highly artificial, and from a non-native speaker. I'll remind you that you agreed I could disregard any examples that would get in the way of explanation. So I'm going to invoke my right to do that. I think you should just ignore my comment that "it doesn't work". I didn't mean to say that it couldn't work, or that there were any 'rules' that prevent it from working, other than general rules regarding the conventions of conversation.

    2) I didn't mean to say that all three pronouns are possible. I'm not really sure what you mean by 'possible'. How could they not be possible? Again, it seems you have in mind an idea that there are some mysterious rules that I'm not telling you. Forget about looking for rules and just ask why the speaker spoke as he did. This is a good example to analyse, because although it's not authentic, it's natural, and it represents authentic use very well.

  4. Member
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    #54

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Yes. Sorry for my impatient tone earlier.
    It's totally understandable.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Remember to give me just one question at a time.
    It's hard to forget (Please correct me if 'This is/that's hard to forget' is a better choice.).

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Well, you wrote this example yourself so I'm completely not comfortable trying to analyse it.
    Then, let's focus on the second example: A: "You love money and power more than you love me". B: "It's true," I said. "And I'm sorry it's true."

    Imagine that you're B. What could be your personal reasons (the more, the better) for choosing different reference targets and, as a result, different pronouns? Take your time and feel free to fantasize. After you answer, I'll try to apply your reasons to some examples I've found through Ludwig. I would be more than glad to see other member's reasons too.

    P.S. In case you missed what I said to Piscean earlier, I'll repeat: in all examples I've given you so far we would use the same pronoun in Russian which can be translated into English either as 'it' or 'this'. As you can understand, this feature of Russian doesn't make the comprehension of English pronouns easier for me.
    Last edited by Alexey86; 29-May-2020 at 23:11. Reason: fixing a typo
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  5. Moderator
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    #55

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    A: "You love money and power more than you love me". B: "It's true," I said. "And I'm sorry it's true."

    Imagine that you're B . What could be your personal reasons (the more, the better) for choosing different reference targets and, as a result, different pronouns?
    As written, B is thinking of A's speech as a general statement. B would have used "that" if he'd wanted to re-emphasize what A just said. You can think of A's statement as a shorter version of "It's true that I love money and power more than I love you."

    With "that", B would be thinking "The thing you just said is true."


    Apologies if I've just repeated something that's already been thoroughly discussed in this thread.
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    #56

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    As written, B is thinking of A's speech as a general statement. B would have used "that" if he'd wanted to re-emphasize what A just said.
    I'd like to show you some examples of using 'it' referring to the preceding statement, and I have a couple of questions:
    1) Can your explanation above be applied to them?
    2) Would 'this/that' sound okay to you in them?

    Maybe I'm wrong, but something tells me that 'this/that' wouldn't work in (c) even if the speaker was very eager to re-emphasize his previous statement. The choice of pronoun there in contrast to, say, (a) is not free and not just up to the speaker's way of thinking. There is some restriction on choosing 'this/that' in (c). Do you agree?


    a) "... Jackson, however, does not see it that way. I think they are trying to size us up," he said." It makes sense for them. They want to catch us short". ...
    (The New York Times)

    b) "... Apple's announcement included no major partnerships and big publishers like Time Inc., Hearst and Condé Nast were muted or silent in their responses. It makes sense in a way. Mindful of the power of precedent when it comes to control over pricing— the music business is a most vivid object lesson — publishers are in no big hurry to hold hands with the folks from Cupertino. " (The New Your Times)

    c) “Many kids of colour who when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn’t let them be Batman or Superman because they don’t look like those heroes but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under that mask,” Morales co-creator and comic book writer Brian Bendis told the New York Daily News. “But now it’s true. It’s meant a great deal to a great many people.”
    (Independent)

    d) When you talk to people after the crisis, either everyone took leadership or no one did. When someone becomes the leader and it went well,
    everyone says they were the leader. And it’s true. I think it’s true to some extent. “I was the leader until a certain time,
    after which someone else was, and after that…”
    (https://link.springer.com/article/10...753-015-0044-7)
    Last edited by Alexey86; 03-Jun-2020 at 16:01.
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    #57

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    I'd like to show you some examples of using 'it' referring to the preceding statement, and I have a couple of questions:
    1) Can your explanation above be applied to them?
    2) Would 'this/that' sound okay to you in them?

    Maybe I'm wrong, but something tells me that 'this/that' wouldn't work in (c) even if the speaker was very eager to re-emphasize his previous statement. The choice of pronoun there in contrast to, say, (a) is not free and not just up to the speaker's way of thinking. There is some restriction on choosing 'this/that' in (c). Do you agree?


    a) "... Jackson, however, does not see it that way. I think they are trying to size us up," he said." It makes sense for them. They want to catch us short". ...
    (The New York Times)

    b) "... Apple's announcement included no major partnerships and big publishers like Time Inc., Hearst and Condé Nast were muted or silent in their responses. It makes sense in a way. Mindful of the power of precedent when it comes to control over pricing— the music business is a most vivid object lesson — publishers are in no big hurry to hold hands with the folks from Cupertino. " (The New Your Times)

    c) “Many kids of colour who when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn’t let them be Batman or Superman because they don’t look like those heroes but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under that mask,” Morales co-creator and comic book writer Brian Bendis told the New York Daily News. “But now it’s true. It’s meant a great deal to a great many people.”
    (Independent)

    d) When you talk to people after the crisis, either everyone took leadership or no one did. When someone becomes the leader and it went well,
    everyone says they were the leader. And it’s true. I think it’s true to some extent. “I was the leader until a certain time,
    after which someone else was, and after that…”
    I think you're on the right track. A isn't a good contrasting example for C, though, because in A, the it in "It makes sense" is reiterating whatever "it" is that Jackson doesn't see the same way. "This" is possible in B, and "that" in D.
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  8. Member
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    #58

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I think you're on the right track. A isn't a good contrasting example for C, though, because in A, the it in "It makes sense" is reiterating whatever "it" is that Jackson doesn't see the same way.
    This is how I see the reference points here:

    "... Jackson, however, does not see it that way. I think
    they are trying to size us up," he said." It makes sense for them. They want to catch us short". ...

    To me, 'it' is clearly referring back to the red part. What makes sense? -> "Trying to size us up".

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    "This" is possible in B, and "that" in D.
    Maybe you have some insights as to why neither 'this' nor 'that' works in (c). All examples have a similar basic structure: a statement + a pronoun referring back to the whole statement. What's the source of the restriction I mentioned above, then? Maybe 'now' and 'but' somehow makes both demonstrative pronouns inadequate.
    Will 'this' be possible in (b) if I change it a bit and add 'now'/'but':

    Apple's announcement included no major partnerships and big publishers like Time Inc., Hearst and Condé Nast were muted or silent in their responses, puzzling me then. Now, this/it makes sense to me. Mindful of the power of precedent when it comes to control over pricing— the music business is a most vivid object lesson — publishers are in no big hurry to hold hands with the folks from Cupertino.

    Apple's announcement included no major partnerships, and big publishers like Time Inc., Hearst and Condé Nast were muted or silent in their responses, puzzling many observers. But this/it makes sense to me. Mindful of the power of precedent when it comes to control over pricing— the music business is a most vivid object lesson — publishers are in no big hurry to hold hands with the folks from Cupertino.



    Last edited by Alexey86; 03-Jun-2020 at 21:00.
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  9. Member
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    #59

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Maybe somebody has something to say about the role of 'but/now' or any other reasons prohibiting using 'this' in (c)?
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  10. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #60

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    I would be glad to see GS's or other members' responses. If Swan's example is natural, does it differ from mine regarding the choice of pronoun?

    And again, I've used 'it' in my question ('does it differ') instead of 'this/that', though they both would fit GS's explanation pointing at 'Swan's example'. Is it just me, or does anybody also agree that 'it' is a better choice here?
    Okay, here's another member's response:

    Everything useful that can be said has been said. This is such a fine point of usage that hashing it out further probably won't help.* It would be better to step back, listen to English speakers for a few more years, and get a feel for whatever nuances there are.

    ----------

    *Similarly, why did I say "won't" instead of "wouldn't"? I don't know. It simply seems right. Some native speakers might go the other way. I certainly wouldn't (wouldn't) tell them they're wrong.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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