it

Listen:
 'IT': [ˌaɪˈtiː]; 'it': [ˈɪt]


WordReference Collins English Usage © 2019
it
referring to things
You use it to refer to an object, animal, or other thing that has just been mentioned.
He brought a tray with drinks on it.
The horse was so tired it could hardly walk.
The noise went on for hours, then it suddenly stopped.
Be careful
When the subject of a sentence is followed by a relative clause, don't use ‘it’ in front of the main verb. Don't say, for example, ‘The town where I work, it is near London’. Say ‘The town where I work is near London’.
referring to situations
You can also use it to refer to a situation, fact, or experience.
I like it here.
She was frightened, but tried not to show it.
Be careful
You often express an opinion using an -ing form or to-infinitive after a verb such as like. When you do this, don't use ‘it’ in front of the -ing form or infinitive.
Be careful
For example, don't say ‘I like it, walking in the park’. Say ‘I like walking in the park’. Don't say ‘I prefer it, to make my own bread’. Say ‘I prefer to make my own bread’.
with linking verbs
It is often the subject of a linking verb such as be.
You can use it as the subject of be to say what the time, day, or date is.
It's seven o'clock.
It's Sunday morning.
You can also use it as the subject of a linking verb to describe the weather or the light.
It was a windy day.
It's getting dark.
describing an experience
You can use it with a linking verb and an adjective to describe an experience. After the adjective, you use an -ing form or a to-infinitive. For example, instead of saying ‘Walking by the lake was nice’, people usually say ‘It was nice walking by the lake’.
It's lovely hearing your voice again.
It was sad to see her in so much pain.
You can use it with a linking verb and an adjective to describe the experience of being in a particular place. After the adjective, you use a phrase referring to the place.
It's very quiet here.
It was warm in the restaurant.
commenting on a situation
You can use it with an adjective or noun phrase to comment on a whole situation. After the adjective or noun phrase, you use a that-clause.
It is lucky that he didn't hear you.
It's a pity you can't stay longer.
After an adjective, you can sometimes use a wh-clause instead of a that-clause.
It's funny how people change.
It's amazing what you can discover in the library.
Be careful
Don't use ‘it’ with a linking verb and a noun phrase to say that something exists or is present. Don't say, for example, ‘It’s a lot of traffic on this road tonight'. Say ‘There’s a lot of traffic on this road tonight'.
There's a teacher at my school called Miss Large.
There was no space for me to park my car.
➜ See there
'it' also found in these entries:
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