the use of the pronoun "it" in specific sentences

Discussion in 'English Only' started by monetina87, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. monetina87 New Member

    Italiano
    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!
     
  2. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    Deutsch
    it is necessary as a placeholder object.

    *I love when you tell me [...] would raise the question ​Whom or what do you love?
     
  3. monetina87 New Member

    Italiano
    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! :thumbsup:
     
  4. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    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: Dec 13, 2013
  5. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    Deutsch
    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 [...].
     
  6. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    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.
     
  7. monetina87 New Member

    Italiano
    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! :D
     
  8. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    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.
     
  9. monetina87 New Member

    Italiano
    :confused: ok...now I have more doubts than before! :D
     
  10. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    Deutsch
    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.
     
  11. monetina87 New Member

    Italiano
    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" ?
     
  12. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    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'.
     

Share This Page