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Where to use ‘IT’ – 7 uses

It is a pronoun used for nouns of neuter gender. The possessive case of ‘It’ is  Its‘.

The most general idea about this pronoun is that it is used for non-living things. But this a very narrow use of It as a pronoun. It is used in many different scenarios. It can be used as both subject and object. Let us look at it with some examples.

Where-to-use-It

1. For things without life:

This is the most basic use. Nouns that are lifeless or noun that belongs to neuter gender are replaced using pronoun ‘it’.

Examples:

  • Court has passed a new privacy law. It was really the need of the hour.
  • She gifted me a coffee mug. It is a personalized mug with my picture on it.
  • My nephew broke the flower vase. It was an antique.
  • She sold her old car as it was just standing in her parking lot for years.

2. For animals when we do not clearly specify their gender:

When someone specifically talks with reference to the gender of an animal, they use gender specific personal pronouns. But when an animal is referred in general or we are not aware of the gender, we use personal pronoun ‘it’ which is used for neuter gender.

Examples:

  • We found a tiny cat crying in our backyard, it was all wet in the rain.
  • That is her favorite horse to ride on, it is very strong.
  • It was a german shepherd pup.
  • Our dog crashed into the car and hit its head.

3. For young child or babies when we do not specify their gender:

Similar to the case of animals, when someone specifically talks with reference to the gender of a baby, they use gender specific personal pronouns. But when a baby is referred in general or we are not aware of the gender, we use personal pronoun ‘it’ which is used for neuter gender.

Examples:

  • The child started crying, it is scared of the clown.
  • Her baby is sick, it caught cold.

4. Used as OBJECT to refer to an already stated action or information (to refer to previous sentence):

Many times, we state something, usually an action or information. And then we wish to restate the same action or information later to some other person.  We can use ‘it’ for the phrase talking about that information to avoid repetition.

Examples:

  • Lilly spilt the milk and she is sorry about it.
  • I told my mother about the theft, but she already knew it.
  • Don’t call him now, we have already discussed it.

5. Used as temporary SUBJECT in passive sentences when real subject follows:

Certain passive sentences have no immediate subject. Either the subject here is understood or followed after pronoun ‘it’.

Examples:

  • It was appreciated that the entire nation stood together in the atrocity.
  • It is advised to exercise daily.
  • It is easy to blame others.
  • It has been adopted as an universal principal.

 

6. Used before a NOUN or PRONOUN to emphasis on it:

Sometimes, we want to emphasis or highlight the noun or pronoun. This is done by adding ‘it’ followed by a ‘to be’ form of verb and the noun or pronoun.

Examples:

  • It was I who called you.
  • It was in Mumbai, where the event took place.
  • It is he who won the championship twice.
  • It was they who are my teammates.

 

7. Used as SUBJECT of Impersonal Verbs:

Impersonal Verbs is the verb that has no definite subject. For these verbs subject is not explicit though the subject is quite comprehensible. For such verbs ‘it’ is used as subject and here it is known as Impersonal Pronoun.

Examples:

  • It is extremely hot today. (the weather)
  • It rained quite heavily. (the rain rained heavily)
  • It is 12 o’clock in the afternoon. (the time is 12 o’clock)
  • It has been adopted as an universal principal.

 

These are the scenarios where ‘It’ is used as a pronoun. Here we saw that this pronoun has vast usage.

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