top of page

Introductory “It” and “There”

Introductory Subjects: “It” and “There”

Overview: In English, we use the words "it" and "there" as dummy subjects when a sentence needs a subject but doesn't have a specific one. Dummy subjects are handy for talking about weather, time, dates, and general situations.

Examples of Dummy Subjects:

  • It’s raining.

  • It is six in the morning.

  • It’s Thursday, the first of January.

  • There’s some cake for you on the table.

  • There is always something more important to do than clean your fridge.

What is a Dummy Subject? A dummy subject doesn't have its own meaning but fills the subject slot in a sentence. The subject is what or whom the sentence is about. It usually comes before the verb.

Examples of Sentences with Dummy Subjects:

  • It is bright and sunny.

  • There isn't a cloud in the sky.



It as a Dummy Subject: The word "it" is used as a dummy subject for time, weather, dates, and general situations. It doesn't refer to anything specific but helps complete the sentence.

Examples with "It" as Dummy Subject:

  • It’s sunny outside—the perfect day for a picnic.

  • It is 3 a.m., and I’m wide awake.

  • It’s a strange world we live in.

Anticipatory It: "It" can be used to refer to a real subject that comes later in the sentence. This is called anticipatory "it."

Examples of Anticipatory It:

  • It is important to be happy in your own body.

  • It’s funny how cats like cheese.



There as a Dummy Subject: The word "there" is used as a dummy subject to indicate the existence of a situation. It doesn’t refer to something specific but introduces the situation.

Examples with "There" as Dummy Subject:

  • There are two ways to solve this problem.

  • Is there anything I can do to help?

When to Use Dummy Subjects: Dummy subjects like "it" and "there" are common in English, and avoiding them can make sentences sound odd. They're especially useful when the real subject is not available.

Examples of Using Dummy Subjects:

  • Preferred: There is some cake left.

  • Poor: Some cake is left.

Caution about Overusing: Using dummy subjects excessively in formal writing can make sentences vague. Identify and revise sentences starting with "it is," "there is," and "there are" to make them more concise.

Examples of Overuse and How to Fix:

  • Poor: There were forty research papers that we reviewed.

  • Better: We reviewed forty research papers.

Examples from Literature: Here are sentences from literature where dummy subjects "it" and "there" are used to introduce situations.

Examples from Literature:

  • "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." - George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel (1949)

  • "There is no story that is not true." - Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958)





Exercise

Insert introductory it or there

  1. ___ seems like a good idea to go for a walk.

  2. ___ is no easy way to learn a new language quickly.

  3. ___ was a beautiful sunset over the horizon.

  4. ___ is always something interesting happening in this town.

  5. ___ is necessary to stay hydrated during hot weather.

  6. ___ are three main reasons why exercise is essential.

  7. ___ feels like ages since we last met.

  8. ___ should be enough time to finish the project.

  9. ___ was a long line at the grocery store today.

  10. ___ is vital to respect others' opinions.

  11. ___ seems that we forgot to buy milk.

  12. ___ takes a lot of courage to speak in public.

  13. ___ is clear that the plan needs some adjustments.

  14. ___ is no need to worry about the weather tomorrow.

  15. ___ is a fantastic view from the top of the mountain.

  16. ___ appears to be a misunderstanding between them.

  17. ___ might rain later in the afternoon.

  18. ___ is never too late to start a new hobby.

  19. ___ seems like a good time to take a break.

  20. ___ is no excuse for rudeness in any situation.

Answers:

  1. It

  2. There

  3. It

  4. There

  5. It

  6. There

  7. It

  8. There

  9. There

  10. It

  11. It

  12. It

  13. It

  14. There

  15. It

  16. It

  17. It

  18. It

  19. It

  20. There



Exercise

Insert introductory it or there

  1. ___ is a rumor that the company might undergo restructuring.

  2. ___ is believed that the team will achieve success this season.

  3. ___ seems impossible to fix the old computer.

  4. ___ is essential to stay focused during challenging times.

  5. ___ is expected that the results will be announced by noon.

  6. ___ feels strange to be in a new environment.

  7. ___ was in the middle of the night when the phone rang.

  8. ___ is common for people to underestimate the power of teamwork.

  9. ___ was clear from the beginning that changes were needed.

  10. ___ is necessary to address the issue promptly.

  11. ___ seems like a waste of time to argue about trivial matters.

  12. ___ is doubtful whether the project will be completed on time.

  13. ___ is known that she excels in problem-solving.

  14. ___ is expected that the conference will attract a large audience.

  15. ___ is strange how quickly time passes when you're having fun.

  16. ___ is crucial to foster a positive work environment.

  17. ___ was at that moment when everything changed.

  18. ___ seems that the train will be delayed due to technical issues.

  19. ___ was no one at the party who I knew.

  20. ___ is advised to double-check the information before presenting it.

Answers:

  1. There

  2. It (anticipatory)

  3. It

  4. It

  5. It (anticipatory)

  6. It

  7. It

  8. It

  9. It (anticipatory)

  10. It

  11. It

  12. It

  13. It

  14. It (anticipatory)

  15. It

  16. It

  17. It

  18. It (anticipatory)

  19. There

  20. It



Explanation:

  1. There is a rumor that the company might undergo restructuring. (Genuine "there" dummy subject)

  2. It is believed that the team will achieve success this season. (Anticipatory "it" referring to the belief)

  3. It seems impossible to fix the old computer. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  4. It is essential to stay focused during challenging times. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  5. It is expected that the results will be announced by noon. (Anticipatory "it" indicating the expectation)

  6. It feels strange to be in a new environment. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  7. It was in the middle of the night when the phone rang. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  8. It is common for people to underestimate the power of teamwork. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  9. It was clear from the beginning that changes were needed. (Anticipatory "it" indicating clarity)

  10. It is necessary to address the issue promptly. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  11. It seems like a waste of time to argue about trivial matters. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  12. It is doubtful whether the project will be completed on time. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  13. It is known that she excels in problem-solving. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  14. It is expected that the conference will attract a large audience. (Anticipatory "it" indicating the expectation)

  15. It is strange how quickly time passes when you're having fun. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  16. It is crucial to foster a positive work environment. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  17. It was at that moment when everything changed. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)

  18. It seems that the train will be delayed due to technical issues. (Anticipatory "it" indicating a seeming situation)

  19. There was no one at the party who I knew. (Genuine "there" dummy subject)

  20. It is advised to double-check the information before presenting it. (Genuine "it" dummy subject)




Read each sentence carefully and identify any errors in the use of "it" and "there." If there is an error, correct it.

  1. It's many ways to improve your productivity at work.

  2. There is important to create a positive work environment.

  3. It seems a challenging task, but you can accomplish it with dedication.

  4. There's a cat on the roof, looking for a way down.

  5. It was a surprise when I found out about the unexpected holiday.

  6. There's a lot of things that I want to accomplish before turning 30.

  7. It is known that exercise contributes to overall well-being.

  8. There is many benefits to adopting a healthy lifestyle.

  9. It's no easy task to master a new skill in a short period.

  10. There are some interesting facts about the history of ancient civilizations.

  11. It's raining outside, so don't forget your umbrella.

  12. There is a book on the shelf that I recommend reading.

  13. It feels like yesterday when we first met.

  14. There's no reason to be afraid of trying something new.

  15. It is common for people to underestimate the power of kindness.

  16. There is a solution to every problem; you just need to find it.

  17. It was a mistake to assume that the project would be completed on time.

  18. There are several factors that contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

  19. It's important to have a positive mindset in challenging situations.

  20. There's a beautiful park near my house that I often visit.

Answers:

  1. It's ➔ There are

  2. There is ➔ It is

  3. It ➔ It may seem

  4. There's ➔ There is

  5. It ➔ It was

  6. There's ➔ There are

  7. It is ➔ It is

  8. There is ➔ There are

  9. It's ➔ It is

  10. There are ➔ There are

  11. It's ➔ It is

  12. There is ➔ There is

  13. It ➔ It has

  14. There's ➔ There is

  15. It is ➔ It is

  16. There is ➔ There is

  17. It ➔ It was

  18. contributes ➔ contribute

  19. It's ➔ It is

  20. There's ➔ There is



Explanation


  1. It's many ways to improve your productivity at work. Correction: There are many ways to improve your productivity at work.Explanation: "There are" is used to indicate the existence of multiple ways.

  2. There is important to create a positive work environment. Correction: It is important to create a positive work environment.Explanation: "It is" is used to emphasize the importance of creating a positive work environment.

  3. It seems a challenging task, but you can accomplish it with dedication. Correction: It may seem a challenging task, but you can accomplish it with dedication.Explanation: Added "may" to make the sentence more accurate and reflective of perception.

  4. There's a cat on the roof, looking for a way down.Correction: There is a cat on the roof, looking for a way down.Explanation: The correction maintains the correct usage of "There is."

  5. It was a surprise when I found out about the unexpected holiday.Correction: It was a surprise when I found out about the unexpected holiday.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  6. There's a lot of things that I want to accomplish before turning 30.Correction: There are a lot of things that I want to accomplish before turning 30.Explanation: "There are" is used for multiple things.

  7. It is known that exercise contributes to overall well-being.Correction: It is known that exercise contributes to overall well-being.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  8. There is many benefits to adopting a healthy lifestyle.Correction: There are many benefits to adopting a healthy lifestyle.Explanation: "There are" is used for multiple benefits.

  9. It's no easy task to master a new skill in a short period.Correction: It is no easy task to master a new skill in a short period.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  10. There are some interesting facts about the history of ancient civilizations.Correction: There are some interesting facts about the history of ancient civilizations.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  11. It's raining outside, so don't forget your umbrella.Correction: It is raining outside, so don't forget your umbrella.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  12. There is a book on the shelf that I recommend reading.Correction: There is a book on the shelf that I recommend reading.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  13. It feels like yesterday when we first met.Correction: It has felt like yesterday since we first met.Explanation: Modified to indicate the ongoing feeling since the time of meeting.

  14. There's no reason to be afraid of trying something new.Correction: There is no reason to be afraid of trying something new.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  15. It is common for people to underestimate the power of kindness.Correction: It is common for people to underestimate the power of kindness.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  16. There is a solution to every problem; you just need to find it.Correction: There is a solution to every problem; you just need to find it.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  17. It was a mistake to assume that the project would be completed on time.Correction: It was a mistake to assume that the project would be completed on time.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  18. There are several factors that contributes to a healthy lifestyle.Correction: There are several factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.Explanation: "There are" is used for multiple factors.

  19. It's important to have a positive mindset in challenging situations.Correction: It is important to have a positive mindset in challenging situations.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.

  20. There's a beautiful park near my house that I often visit.Correction: There is a beautiful park near my house that I often visit.Explanation: The original sentence is already correct; no changes needed.


15 views0 comments

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
© Copyright
© Copyright©©
© Copyright
bottom of page