it v N to-inf
The verb is usually take, but need and require occasionally also have this pattern.
it v N to-infThe noun follows introductory it and a verb, and is followed by a to-infinitive clause. The noun may be preceded by a determiner such as some, a phrase such as a lot of, or an adjective such as great.
|it||verb group||Noun||to-infinitive clause|
|It||takes||nerve||to be that single-minded.|
|It||took||considerable||skill||to do this.|
Nouns with other meaningsProductive use
Most nouns with this pattern refer to qualities needed to do something. This is a productive use: other nouns referring to qualities occasionally have this pattern.
balls bravery confidence courage dedication effort energy experience faith guts imagination nerve patience skill strength
It will take courage to take on so tough a job.
It took all of her energy to lift it, while Chiku watched, uncomprehending.