sofa downstairs it is

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Paul is back home from the hospital where he was in a coma, almost dead. But now he's absolutely ok. Besides his family, in the house there's also his friend Mac and girlfriend Jay. When Paul and Mac enter Paul's room they see Jay there who says that Paul's mother was pretty clear she should sleep in Paul's sister Anna's room.
JAY: But I don't want to.
MAC: Oh. I get it. Oh, don't mind me. I'll just be quiet in the corner. You do anything you want to. I won't listen or watch.
But Paul's and Jay's looks imply that they are not ok with that.
MAC: Sofa downstairs it is.
Paul says yes and Mac leaves.
The Fades, TV series

Please, explain to me the grammatical role of "it is" here. Thanks.
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Do you understand the meaning? The sofa downstairs is where I will sleep. It is on the sofa downstairs that I will sleep. The placement of "it is" at the end there is often seen when the speaker has just been restricted in the choice or opportunity.

    A: Waiter, I'd like steak and potatoes.
    Waiter: Sorry, we're out of steak today.
    A: OK then fish and chips it is.

    Or are you asking what the technical term is? I have no idea what the grammar technicians call this.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Do you understand the meaning? The sofa downstairs is where I will sleep. It is on the sofa downstairs that I will sleep. The placement of "it is" at the end there is often seen when the speaker has just been restricted in the choice or opportunity.

    A: Waiter, I'd like steak and potatoes.
    Waiter: Sorry, we're out of steak today.
    A: OK then fish and chips it is.

    Or are you asking what the technical term is? I have no idea what the grammar technicians call this.
    Can we use the usual word order here, like this?:)
    Ok, it is fish and chips then.

    It is the sofa downstairs.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It might be hard to find that in a dictionary:eek: I never analysed it either, I just heard it, understood what it means and use it (occasionally). It might even be a dummy it:)
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I think it's just the impersonal 'it', not a reference to anything as specific as a choice, much the same as in "It's raining." or in "It's curtains for you!".
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I think it's just the impersonal 'it', not a reference to anything as specific as a choice, much the same as in "It's raining." or in "It's curtains for you!".
    Hmmm, I think I feel a difference between

    "It is on the sofa downstairs that I will sleep."
    "If it's convenient I can come tomorrow."

    and

    "It's curtains for you!"
    "Sofa downstairs it is."
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    In that case I recommend that you disabuse yourself of that feeling.

    I believe that the "it" in "The sofa downstairs it is" is the same "it" as in "It's on the sofa downstairs that I will sleep".
    Likewise, that in "It's curtains for you" is the same as in "It's curtains you will be getting".
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    "It's on the sofa downstairs that I will sleep."
    "It's curtains you will be getting."

    The two above are examples of a "cleft sentence": "it is .... that", while "it's curtains for you" sounds like the usual "it's (something)"; the grammar is different. Or doesn't it matter?...
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    It doesn't matter. There is no specific "it" that is being equated to "curtains for you".
    I hope I don't need to make clear that the speaker is not giving the listener a parcel containing nice new curtains for their bedroom.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    • refers to an unspecified or implied antecedent or to a previous or understood clause, phrase, etc: it is impossible, I knew it

    • used as a formal subject (or object), referring to a following clause, phrase, or word: it helps to know the truth, I consider it dangerous to go on
    • used in the nominative as the formal grammatical subject of impersonal verbs. When it functions absolutely in such sentences, not referring to any previous or following clause or phrase, the context is nearly always a description of the environment or of some physical sensation: it is raining, it hurts

    The above is from the WRD, Collins. I see the first as similar to the OP, not like the other two. Do you disagree?...
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Yes, I disagree. I do not see the OP's "it" as referring to any antecedent, in the same way that the "it" in "It looks as though I will have to sleep on the sofa downstairs." doesn't either.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes, I disagree. I do not see the OP's "it" as referring to any antecedent, in the same way that the "it" in "It looks as though I will have to sleep on the sofa downstairs." doesn't either.
    You agree we can say "this is curtains for you", don't you?:) Isn't the fact that we can replace "it" with a demonstrative pronoun proof that it refers to an implied antecedent?...
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Is the fact that we can replace "it" with a demonstrative pronoun not proof that it refers to an implied antecedent?...
    (You need the "not" in this kind of question). Yes, it would be proof, but no, I don't agree that we would say "This is curtains for you". It's not idiomatic, unless we are literally handing over a parcel of curtains.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Google Books give 10 hits for THIS IS vs 40 hits for IT IS + IT'S

    Given that with "it" it is a set expression, a good ratio anyway.

    Thank you ! (and thank you for the correction, it was x-posted with my edit though: "is the fact" --> "isn't the fact":))
     
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