IMPERSONAL PRONOUN “IT”
“It” is one of the most commonly used impersonal pronouns in English. “It” can refer to many unspecified subjects depending on the context.
Mary has a new dog. It‘s a Bordeaux Mastiff.
Word “it” appeared in the above sentence and replaced a noun – “a dog” so that it appeared as a personal pronoun.
Here are some more sentences using “it” as a pronoun:
The Smiths bought a new house last week. It has three bedrooms.
I’ve read a great book. It was written by Stephen King.
“It” also has one more function – impersonal. Every sentence in English must include a subject.
What if there is no subject and the sentence begin with predicate? There are two ways.
When we are talking about material things, then structure we use “there is/there are”.
But when we are talking about abstract terms, we use impersonal “it”.
There’s no water.
|what can we express with the impersonal pronoun “it”?||example|
|time||It’s nearly five o’clock.|
What time is it?
|distance||How far is it?|
It’s over 30 kilometres.
It was a five – minute walk.
|weather conditions||It was very windy yesterday.|
It often rains here in autumn.
|identity||Who is it? It‘s me.|
|general opinion||It‘s dangerous, living in a city.|
It‘s great to have a lot of money.
It‘s essential, to be honest.
|private opinion on a particular subject||It’s great to meet you.|
It’s nice to see you again.
It’s funny to see you dressed as a clown
It’s a good idea to stay here.
|opinion on a particular person||It was kind of her to help me.|
It’s kind of you to bring me a flower.
It was smart of you to tell him I wasn’t at home.
|impersonal “it” in some other expressions||example|
|it doesn’t matter||I’m afraid I’ll be late.|
It doesn’t matter. We won’t be leaving before nine, anyway.
|it takes||How long does it take to get to the airport? It takes almost an hour if you go by bus.|
|it’s time to||It’s time to go to bed, children.|
It’s time to leave. Hurry up, or we’ll miss the bus.
To express something referring to everyone in general, the pronoun “you” shall be used:
You have to show your passport at the border.
You mustn’t go in there.
You can’t swim in this river.