[General] Usage of "It"

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sky3120

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A: March 1st in Korea is a national holiday.

B: What is so special about the day?

A: It is the day of March 1st Independence Movement.

Here in the dialogue, is 'It' an impersonal subject like It is raining, It is 10 o'clock or 'It' here is just a pronoun of March 1st?

And here in the sentence,

"It is an important day for Koreans"

Is "It" an impersonal subject and can "for" be in place of "to" or is there a meaning difference between them? Thank you so much as usual and I really hope to hear from you again.
 

konungursvia

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'It' is indeed an impersonal subject in all of your examples, including the last.

Most people use 'for' and 'to' interchangeably in the context you describe, as well. However, there can be a difference.

'An important day to Koreans' means that in the view of Koreans, and according to their opinions, judgments and feelings, it is an important day.

Only slightly differently, 'an important day for Koreans' is more objective. For example, if you were the new president of South Korea, and you believed something was very important in the present or future of Korean people's lives, you could say it was 'important for Koreans' -- whether or not the Korean people were aware of it as yet. To say something is 'important to Koreans' implies that the Korean people feel it is so, while 'important for Koreans' can be used even if the Koreans don't know something is important -- such as a banking system bailout.

A: March 1st in Korea is a national holiday.

B: What is so special about the day?

A: It is the day of March 1st Independence Movement.

Here in the dialogue, is 'It' an impersonal subject like It is raining, It is 10 o'clock or 'It' here is just a pronoun of March 1st?

And here in the sentence,

"It is an important day for Koreans"

Is "It" an impersonal subject and can "for" be in place of "to" or is there a meaning difference between them? Thank you so much as usual and I really hope to hear from you again.
 

sky3120

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Thank you so much and I agree with you but in the last, it seems that 'It' implies 'March 1st', doesn't it?
 

konungursvia

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Yes, but you should write 'It is the day of the March 1st independence movement.'
 

sky3120

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Thank you so much and to make it clear, so in "It is an important day for Koreans", It = ​the March 1st independence movement, not an impersonal subject, right?
 

konungursvia

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No, it is impersonal. It is the day... it is the night... it is raining.... it is not raining...
 

5jj

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Thank you so much and to make it clear, so in "It is an important day for Koreans", It = ​the March 1st independence movement, not an impersonal subject, right?
My feeling is that in your dialogue -
A: March 1st in Korea is a national holiday.

B: What is so special about the day?

A: It is the day of March 1st Independence Movement.

Here in the dialogue, is 'It' an impersonal subject like It is raining, It is 10 o'clock or 'It' here is just a pronoun of March 1st?

And here in the sentence,

"It is an important day for Koreans"
the antecedent of 'it' is 'the day/March 1st'.
 

konungursvia

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My feeling is that in your dialogue - the antecedent of 'it' is 'the day/March 1st'.

Yes, in context, I think 5jj is right. The sentence on its own can be taken to have an impersonal 'it', but the antecedent in that conversation is the event, rather than the date.
 

emsr2d2

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Thank you so much and to make it clear, so in "It is an important day for Koreans", It = ​the March 1st independence movement, not an impersonal subject, right?

"It" doesn't refer to the independence movement. "It" refers to "March 1st".

March 1st is an important date for Koreans because of the March 1st Independence Movement.
This year, March 1st fell on a Friday. It is an important date for Koreans because of the March 1st Independence Movement.

As you can see from both my sentences, I would refer to it as an important "date", not "day".
 
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