the reform it said it would enact to...


Senior Member
Korea, Korean
Finance Minister Kang Man-soo said the government was reviewing its policies in the face of mounting public anger. But he did not say how far the government might be prepared to water down the sweeping reforms it said it would enact to boost local and foreign investment. (from New York Times)

I think the grammatical structure of the underlined phrase is the same as this: It's far more than the number of troops the Administration had said were needed.

I'd like to know if it in the first example can be left out like the second example.
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    These two examples are different.
    In "the reforms it said it would enact", both "its" here refer to the government, and neither can be omitted, they are pronouns standing for "the government":
    "the reforms the government said the government would enact".
    A subject is needed to say something and a subject is needed to enact the reforms.

    In your second example no pronouns are used, because the actual subject and object are stated:
    "the number of troops ... were needed" is what the administration said.


    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    No, the second sentence isn't quite comparable. You could remove the second "it" from the the first sentence if you change it to "would be enacted," which matches the form of your second example.

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    That's right. The only way to get rid of either "it" is to make the sentences passive, so there is no subject(s) at all. But of course, this would not communicate the same information, as surely it's important here to know who said it and who it is that would do what was said.
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