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The FUNCIONS of ‘IT’

1. PRONOUN (anaphorical – used referentially)

- Where is the book ? It is on the table


- Have you seen his latest article? It is very interesting
- I’ll come later. It is all right//it’s not possible//it’s not polite
- Where is John’s house? It is close to the market place
- How is the cake? It is very sweet
- Who is there? It’s the postman
- How big is the townhall? It’s a two-storey block.
- What if he comes at 9 ? It’s the right moment
- What if he goes to the police? It’s the best thing to do.
- When is the concert/? It’s tomorrow at 7.

2. IMPERSONAL (time; distance; weather)

- It’s nearly 5 o’clock/already late/very early in the morning;


- It’s a two-mile distance/ no distance to the sea. // It’s a long way to Tipperary. //
- It’s hot/foggy/raining/stuffy/cloudy
- Is it Monday?
- How hot it is in here!
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3. INTRODUCTORY-ANTICIPATORY (introduces subject/object clauses)

Infinitive subject clauses

- It’s nice to talk to you // to be here, now


- It’s important to book in advance
- It’s his ambition to get the first price
- It was good/nice of him to come to my birthday
- It is quite far to get to the airport in 15 minutes

Infinitive object clauses (vbs: think; consider; find; believe; deem etc.)

- I find it difficult/easy/hard/pleasant to do it
- I consider it necessary/useless to write to the dean.
- I deem it adamant to attend this meeting
‘That’ subject clauses (Vbs: happen; prove; turn out; occur; seem; appear. Adj:
difficult; easy; natural etc.)

- It is clear that he won’t do it


- It is expected that she will be back tomorrow.
- It is said that he has caught a bad chill
- It is but natural that she should be angry

‘That’ object clauses

- See to it that the windows are closed


- We took it for granted that he could read music at first sight
- I find it/thought it strange that he could not come in time
- I love it when you sing
- I take it that you won’t be working tomorrow

‘ing’ – clauses

- It was nice talking to you


- It’s crazy her going off like that
- It’s worth going to France, if you have the time
- It’s no use trying to explain
- It surprised me your not remembering my name
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4. (Introductory) – EMPHATIC

- It was John/I/me who did it/has done it


- It was yesterday/last year that they came to our place
- It is here/in London/by the seaside that he lives
- It will be my uncle that will come with us
- It is his rude behaviour that worries me

5. DUMMY (empty/meaningless)

- to lord it; to pub it; to rough it

Emphatic predicate pronoun

- That is it