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How to avoid those unnecessary pronouns (i.e. “it”)

Home » English Grammar & Linguistics » How to avoid those unnecessary pronouns (i.e. “it”)

Relativization is a process whereby a noun or noun phrase in an embedded sentence is deleted.

A relativizer is the relative pronoun that, who/whom or which, and each is used to form a subject or object relative clause.

In the following examples, the rule of ordinary relative clause formation is such that the relativizer (bolded) is identical to the noun in the matrix noun phrase (italicized). Also the head-initialized antecedent (bolded) is marked by that, which is the relativizer and the syntactic head of a full clause:

  • “It’s really an important public health strategy that we have people thinking about it.” (an appositive clause)
  • “Yes, and I think that it’s something that—I had to find a way to understand it as an adult.” (an appositive clause)

SUMMARY/OBSERVATIONS: As a result of this above-mentioned rule acting upon the relative clause, it, which has been pronominalized (using a pronoun instead of a noun), is to be deleted because it is unnecessary. This is a standard approach to relativization, whereby a noun or noun phrase in an embedded sentence is deleted or pronominalized.

Garie McIntosh
Garie McIntosh
My works include a trilogy that will be a boxed set of novels that begins with my currently published first novel called “What's in a Name,” a short story collection being completed, and a non-fiction educational project currently in progress. Additionally, I work daily on linguistic and grammatical content via my organization on the Microsoft 365 platform.

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