What’s up guys!
It is said that grammar can sometimes be tricky. Would you agree? In today’s blog post, we are going to look at the use of the pronoun “it” in impersonal sentences and when we should use it.
When do we use “it” in impersonal sentences?
There are many different examples of using “it” in impersonal sentences in English, however one of the most common ways is when we are talking about the weather.
It is sunny
It is rainy
It is foggy
As can be seen from these examples, “it” is always the subject. With the weather we can use “to be” in the present simple followed by an adjective or the present continuous with a gerund.
The pronoun “it” can also be used when we are referring to times, days and dates. As times and dates are nouns, we never give them personal pronouns like “I”, “you”, “he” or “we”, for example. They can only be given the pronoun “it”.
It’s 2 O’clock.
It’s the 24th March
Also take note that in English, days and months of the years are always capitalised as they are proper nouns.
Are there other useful expressions which use the impersonal with “it”?
Most expressions or sentences which have connotations of time generally adopt the pronoun “it” as their subject in sentences.
It takes 2 hours to get to Paris
It normally take an hour to drive to work
It lasts 5 hours
When we refer to distance or a place in English, we can also use the impersonal pronoun “it”, as we obviously cannot refer to them by using the other personal pronouns which refer to people.
How far is it? (This is referring to the distance of a place)
It is the town next to Lyon. (Here, “it” is substituting a town)
It is 100 km from here. (“It” is substituting a place here)
Where should we start our studies?
Like the majority of grammar points, learning every possible sentence in which a grammar point could appear is not very feasible, which is why learning scenarios or situations is much better.
It is recommended to focus on learning the structure of the sentences first of all and then after that you can apply “it” in the relevant situations. If you would like more handy hints and tips on the grammar point, sign up for free to ABA and check out unit 105 of our complete online course.
Best of luck