语法

Introductory it as Subject

Introductory it as Subject

In all the patterns described here, the clause begins with introductory it, which is the Subject of the clause. Although it is the Subject, it does not contribute to the meaning of the clause, and is often known as a 'dummy' Subject. English prefers to have old, or shared, information at the beginning of a clause and new information at the end of a clause. If a clause does not contain any old information, having it as Subject allows all the new information to be placed at the end of a clause. For example, the clause It is difficult finding a taxi has two pieces of new information: difficult and finding a taxi. You could say Finding a taxi is difficult, but this would suggest that finding a taxi has already been mentioned and is shared information rather than new information. In the clause beginning with it, none of the new information comes at the beginning of the clause.In spoken English, the word it is sometimes omitted, especially with the verbs look, seem and sound, e.g. Looks as if we're out of luck, Seems he knows all the answers, Sounds as if it runs in the family. The same thing occurs with the phrase it stands to reason, e.g. Stands to reason he stole it. In the case of be, some nouns and adjectives sometimes occur without it is, e.g. Pity you didn't let me know.All the patterns described here contain a clause such as a that-clause or a to-infinitive clause. All these are new clauses, with their own structures.The patterns with introductory it as Subject fall into six pattern groups:
    ▶ Pattern group 1: it V clause
    ▶ Pattern group 2: it V to n clause
    ▶ Pattern group 3:it V prep clause
    ▶ Pattern group 4: it be V-ed clause
    ▶ Pattern group 5: it V n clause
    ▶ Pattern group 6: it V adj clause
Pattern group 1: it V clause1.1 it V that1.2 it V to-inf1.3 it V wh1.4 it V when/if1.5 it V as if, it V as though, it V likePattern group 2: it V to n clause2.1 it V to n that2.2 it V to n to-inf2.3 it V to n wh2.4 it V to n as if, it V to n as though, it V to n likePattern group 3: it V prep clause3.1 it V prep that3.2 it V prep to-infPattern group 4: it be V-ed clause4.1 it be V-ed that4.2 it be V-ed to-inf4.3 it be V-ed whPattern group 5: it V n clause5.1 it V n thatOther productive uses5.2 it V n to-infOther productive uses5.3 it V n wh5.4 it V n when/if5.5 it V n -ing5.6 it V n/amount before/since5.7 it V n for n to-inf5.8 it V n n to-inf5.9 it V amount for n that5.10 it V n adj that5.11 it V n adj to-infPattern group 6: it V adj clause6.1 it V adj that6.2 it V adj to-inf6.3 it V adj wh6.4 it V adj when/if6.5 it V adj -ing6.6 it V adj of n to-inf6.7 it V adj for n to-infOther phrasesUsing it and the verb be to focus

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