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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
Garie started out in administration in the fields of healthcare, project management and database development. Since 2016, he has been working to further develop himself as a fiction writer while working on his English grammatical and linguistic pursuits. He has developed his website,, to share the meaningful wins throughout his evolution. Therefore, this is a way of sharing his successes as a writer and promoting his professional development through insightful and educational content. Garie also developed and created McIntoshLinguistics, an organization that houses and operates a unique educational and grammatical editing model that he also created as an information architecture for writing, editing and publishing content in the hybrid learning environment of Microsoft Education (EDU) Teams. He utilizes Microsoft applications to develop and formalize pedagogical solutions that help him produce manuscripts that are highly readable and semantically sound. These solutions encompass both the linguistic and the grammatical.

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