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Difficulties with "it"

Posted by R. Berg on February 07, 2001

In Reply to: How? posted by marcus on February 07, 2001

: : Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything about it in the merriam-webster online.

: :) drop the quotation marks and just type in it.

"The pronoun is so much used in various idiomatic constructions that considerable knowledge, instinctive or acquired, of the ins and outs of syntax is needed to secure one against lapses" (H. W. Fowler, "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage," entry "it"). Idiomatic constructions are the ones that are traditional but not necessarily logical. Some of them are so illogical that "it" doesn't refer to anything. For more on "it" by the same author, look at