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Taka

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The sentence:

It is your turn to drive.

A friend of mine insists "it" above is what is gramatically called "preparatory subject" as in:

It is very important to study English.= To study English is very important.

Is it really so? I mean, if it is preparatory, it should be equal to "To drive is your turn", which, at least to me, sounds very weird.
 

twostep

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Taka said:
The sentence:

It is your turn to drive.

A firend of mine insists "it" above is what is gramatically called "preparatory subject" as in:

It is very important to study English.= To study English is very important.

Is it really so? I mean, if it is preparatory, it should be equal to "To drive is your turn", which, at least to me, sounds very weird.

I do not agree with your friend.
 

Taka

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Casiopea said:

Really?? :shock:

Why?

I mean, if I asked you "Who is supposed to do the dishes?", would you say "To do the dishes is your turn"??? As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't.
 

Taka

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Let me make sure one thing, Cas. When you say "I do", you mean you do agree with my friend? Or you mean you agree with me and twostep?

I thought you agreed with my friend, but after reading your reply, it seems that you're thinking this problem in the same way as mine: in B the infinitive does not function as the semantic subject, and therefore "it" is not preparatory.
 

Taka

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Check Azar, Swan's Practical English Usage, or whatever. You'll see it's not new at all.

Then, when "it" of "It is your turn to drive" is not a pronoun, referring to nothing, can't "it" be the same kind of expletive as "it" in "It is raining"?

(I'm afraid we understand the concept of preparatory subject differently. My understanding is, if "it" is excangeable for the semantic subject of a sentence, then it is preparatory, which is different from expletive. What is yours?)

And what kind of infinitive is it here grammatically? I think no matter what "it" is, "to drive" is adjective modifying "your turn".
 

Taka

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So, unless it is a pronoun, is "it" in "It's your turn to drive" is almost the same as the one in "It's raining"? And is the infinitive "to drive" adjective?
 

Taka

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Read carefully the comments I've posted here, Cas. I already told you. :wink:
 

Taka

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Casiopea said:
Ibid. :wink:

Ibid :?: :?: :?: What do you mean by that?
 

Taka

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tdol, I think I need your intervention here.

What do you think?
 

Tdol

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This is a very tricky question. In definitions like Swan's, it isn't a preparatory subject and I can see you case for distinguishing it because it does have a different function. An empty subject, the expletive Cas talks of, doesn't seem to have exactly the same function as 'it' in 'it is important to learn'. The empty subject exists to fill a lacuna that can't be filled in any other way, whereas preparatory subjects can be substituted in other ways. I think that 'it is your turn' and 'it is raining' are different from 'it is important'- they are all expletives, but that doesn't mean they are all preparatory subjects in my book. ;-)
 

Taka

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Yeh! Empty subject! That's the term I should have used here.

Unless it is a pronoun, "it" in "It is your turn to drive" is an empty subject, right?

And about the infinitive "to drive", it's adjective. Correct, tdol?

---------

By the way, I don't really understand this part of your comments:


tdol said:
I can see you case for distinguishing it because it does have a different function.
 

Tdol

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errr, 'your case'. ;-)

I'll mull this 'infinitive as adjective' thing over a bit. My first reaction is negative, but let's see how I feel tonight.;-)
 

Taka

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tdol said:
errr, 'your case'. ;-)

OK. I understand.

tdol said:
I'll mull this 'infinitive as adjective' thing over a bit. My first reaction is negative, but let's see how I feel tonight.;-)

At least, it's not the semantic subject , which means the infinitive is not used as a noun. Then...adverbial...??

Well, I'm looking forward to your reply. :wink:
 

Tdol

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It is modifying the noun, but I don't see it as an adjectival modification. You could descrivbe 'your turn to drive' in its entirety as an adjectival complement, couldn't you? ;-)
 

Taka

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tdol said:
It is modifying the noun, but I don't see it as an adjectival modification. You could descrivbe 'your turn to drive' in its entirety as an adjectival complement, couldn't you? ;-)

An infinitive modifying a noun but not adjectival???

Are you trying to redefine the concept of adjectival infinitive??
 

Tdol

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It seems to be adding something more than an adjectival sense to me.;-)
 

Taka

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tdol said:
It seems to be adding something more than an adjectival sense to me.;-)

Then what exactly is the function of adjetives besides its modification of nouns? And what is the "something" here??
 

Tdol

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Given that it is not a single word, it is not an adjective, so its function is up for debate. ;-)
 

Taka

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tdol said:
It is modifying the noun, but I don't see it as an adjectival modification.

Casiopea said:
It is your turn to study.

to study is an integral part of the phrase 'your turn'. :wink:

What is it that makes you teachers hesitant about simply calling it "an adjectival infinitive" here? It's just a "noun (one's turn)+to do" construction, isn't it?
 

Taka

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Cas, that's not my point.

What I'm wondering about is this: as tdol says, the infinitive is modifying the noun "one's turn". But he argues that it is not an adjectival modification, and should be adding something more than an adjectival sense.

Modifying a noun, but still not adjectival...Then, what is it at all???

And you say it's an integral part of "one's turn"... Why can't you disintegrate it and simply take the infinitive as adjectival.

What an enigma... :?
 
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