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Thread: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

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    the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    Hi everybody,
    I'm new in this forum and I really hope we will help each other!
    I'm working on my thesis and I'm analyzing the uses of the pronoun "it". I wonder if you could solve a doubt I have, according to a couple of sentences, that is: "I hate it when you call me etc" and "I like it down here" or "I love it when you tell me etc"...my doubt is: is it possible to erase the pronoun "it" and just say "I hate when you call me", "I like down here" or "I love when you tell me" etc?? It doesn't sound weird to me, neither does it sound correct...could you please "light my way"?
    Thank you in advance!

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    it is necessary as a placeholder object.

    *I love when you tell me [...] would raise the question ​Whom or what do you love?
    OMNIA VINCIT AMOR

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Schimmelreiter View Post
    it is necessary as a placeholder object.

    *I love when you tell me [...] would raise the question ​Whom or what do you love?
    Ok, but if I say "I love it when you tell me...etc" that "it" is an anticipatory pronoun of "when you tell me etc" so why can't the entire phrase "when you tell me" be the object of the sentence?
    Anyway, thanks for your answer!

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    In some cases, yes, the 'it' seems dispensable, at least in informal contexts: Two examples [slightly revised] you [Monetina] gave seem OK.
    "I hate {it} when you call me lazy." and "I love {it} when you tell me I'm attractive."

    "It" is a placeholder or 'dummy' in a number of constructions. So, in those cases, it can't be simply erased, but it can be eliminated by rephrasing.
    "It is rare that I hear from Jack." ==> "Rarely do I hear from Jack."

    "It is insulting when you call me lazy"==> "I'm insulted when you call me lazy." Or perhaps, "Calling me lazy is insulting."
    Last edited by bennymix; 13th December 2013 at 8:10 PM.

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by monetina87 View Post
    why can't the entire phrase "when you tell me" be the object of the sentence?
    Because time clauses can't be objects. You might say I love you(r) telling me [...] or, with a difference in meaning, I'd love you to tell me [...].
    OMNIA VINCIT AMOR

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    Custom plays a role here, monetina87.

    Sentences like this one are common: I love what you've done with your hair. = I love your new hairstyle.

    Sentences like this one are unusual: I love when you give me money??? People generally prefer to use "it" in this and similar sentences that use some clause beginning with "when": I love it when you give me money.

    Cross-posting yet again.
    ...It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. W. Shakespeare

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Schimmelreiter View Post
    Because time clauses can't be objects. You might say I love you(r) telling me [...] or, with a difference in meaning, I'd love you to tell me [...].
    Perfect! This rephrasing made me get the sense! "I love when you etc" didn't seem so weird, but if replace it with the ing-form, the sentence "I love (?) telling me etc" doesn't make sense at all! Thanks a lot!

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    [Monetina:] why can't the entire phrase "when you tell me" be the object of the sentence?


    [Schimmel:] Because time clauses can't be objects.
    I've seen when he goes to work: It's always before 7 am.

    ==
    I believe Owlman's points about usage, above, should be considered; they are excellent.

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by bennymix View Post
    I've seen when he goes to work: It's always before 7 am.
    ok...now I have more doubts than before!

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by bennymix View Post
    I've seen when he goes to work: It's always before 7 am.
    You are right of course. I should have been more precise. Your time clause is indeed an object. In the TO's sentences, however, the predicate (sic!) of the time clause, i.e. tell/call, would have to be the object because it's somebody's telling/calling that is loved/hated. This is not possible in English.

    In your sentence, it's merely the point of time (when) that serves as object.
    OMNIA VINCIT AMOR

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Schimmelreiter View Post
    You are right of course. I should have been more precise. Your time clause is indeed an object. In the TO's sentences, however, the predicate (sic!) of the time clause, i.e. tell/call, would have to be the object because it's somebody's telling/calling that is loved/hated. This is not possible in English.

    In your sentence, it's merely the point of time (when) that serves as object.
    mmm...but if I say a similar sentence: "I love when you tell me I'm beautiful: it's sweet"...it's more or less the same as that sentence...or reversing this sentence: "it's sweet when you tell me I'm beautiful" could it be "when you tell me I'm beautiful is sweet" ?

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    Re: the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

    You last sentence does benefit from the 'it' "When you tell me I'm beautiful, it's sweet." I'm not sure if the sentence is quite defective, however.

    Here's another item of interest, "When you tell me I'm beautiful is when I get suspicious about what you want!" No 'it'.

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