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it is easier to deal with (it)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Li'l Bull, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Li'l Bull

    Li'l Bull Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Hi, native speakers of English!

    I've been thinking about this sentence:

    'If you tell a friend about a problem, it is easier to deal with'.

    Somehow I think there's something missing there, as I interpret 'it' as one of those impersonal, empty subjects, so the second part of the sentence needs an object after 'with' (in my head), therefore:

    'If you tell a friend about a problem, it is easier to deal with it'.

    Can you please tell me which of the two versions is correct and why?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Both are correct.

    'If you tell a friend about a problem, it is easier to deal with' = Here "it" stands in for "the problem that has been mentioned": If you tell a friend about a problem, that problem is easier to deal with. The "it" isn't the impersonal subject in a phrase like "It's easy enough to make a cake."

    'If you tell a friend about a problem, it is easier to deal with it' = Here the first"it" is an impersonal subject. The second "it" takes the place of "the problem that has been mentioned."

    Both are fine, to my eye and ear. However, if you're hanging out with or writing for those people who do not like ending a sentence with a preposition, obviously I would advise you to use the second sentence!
     
  3. Li'l Bull

    Li'l Bull Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Thanks a lot, lucas-sp.

    I wasn't aware there are native speakers 'who do not like ending a sentence with a preposition'. :confused: If you ask me, I would say one of the markers of standard, idiomatic English is precisely finishing sentences with a preposition. For example, 'Who do you work for?' sounds much more natural than 'For whom do you work?', is that right?
     
  4. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    That's right. The stigma associated with ending a sentence in a preposition ultimately derives from the aesthetic preference of a small but influential group of people who'd decided that the world would be a better place if everyone else adopted their values.
     
  5. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    The "rule" about not ending sentences with prepositions is an old one and has been long abandoned by those engaged professionally in producing published works. A few people who were taught that dictum many years ago still cling to it. This applies only to AmE, of course; I can't speak for British usage, which may be.

    Of your two original sentences, I prefer the first, the one ending in "with", since the final "it" is unnecessary.
     

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