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    #1

    it

    I would like to know the meaning of "It" in the next passage.

    I was running the vacuum cleaner last night. It was just an area of carpet where someone had tracked in some mud.

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I would like to know the meaning of "It" in the next passage.

    I was running the vacuum cleaner last night. It was just an area of carpet where someone had tracked in some mud.
    It's an empty subject, sometomes called an expletive, or existential-it. If we removed It, the sentence would look like this:
    Ex: The area of carpet [that I was vacuuming] was just where someone had tracked in some mud.
    The phrase the area of carpet is the true subject--called the notional subject in your original example.

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    #3

    Re: it

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I would like to know the meaning of "It" in the next passage.

    I was running the vacuum cleaner last night. It was just an area of carpet where someone had tracked in some mud.
    "It" is referring to the area of carpet.

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    #4

    Re: it

    By the way, expletive it has no semantic contribution in your sentences; it's there for structural reasons only. One of the rules of English (grammar) is that every sentence must have a subject. It is added in as a filler.

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