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The kinds of the doer - "it" Preparatory, introductory subject OR dummy, empty subject Options
A cooperator
Posted: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 8:07:42 PM

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Hi Everyone!
I have read

Quote:
Dummy subjects
from English Grammar Today
English clauses which are not imperatives must have a subject. Sometimes we need to use a ‘dummy’ or ‘empty’ or ‘artificial’ subject when there is no subject attached to the verb, and where the real subject is somewhere else in the clause. It and there are the two dummy subjects used in English:

It’s always interesting to find out about your family history.

[real subject]
To find out about your family history
is always interesting. (The real subject – the thing that is interesting – is ‘to find out about your family history’.)

There are five Dutch people in our village. (The real subject is the Dutch people – they are in the village.)



However, I don't know if this sentence can be correct, if I use the dummy subject.
I am just trying to phrase the equivalence English sentence of a sentence written in my own Arabic language. I don't think if this would confuse me or not.

I am pleased to visit me.
It is pleased to visit me. (to visit me is pleased.)
However, if I used the verb 'please', then
It pleases me to visit me. ("it" is just a dummy subject. However, the real subject is "To visit me". So, To visit me pleases me - your visit pleases me.)

BTW, I think "there" or "it" are used as dummy subjects if the real subject is somewhere else in the clause, but they are never real subjects.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Fyfardens
Posted: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 8:20:09 PM
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A cooperator wrote:
I am pleased to visit me.
It is pleased to visit me. (to visit me is pleased.)

It pleases me to visit me.


None of those sentences make any sense.

Perhaps you mean "I am pleased to visit you".

That is correct, but not very natural. We would be far more likely to say something like "I am pleased to be here with you" or "It's good to see you (again"


I speak British English (standard southern, slightly dated).
thar
Posted: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 8:45:45 PM

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You are not matching the model sentence.

There are five Dutch people in our village.


That is a noun phrase.


So you can't replace it with a verb.

It is pleased...

You have to have a noun there:

It is a pleasure to visit you.



You are rushing and making mistakes. Please, take your time, see lots if examples before trying to make your own sentences. And pay attention to the basics !ike parts of speech (nouns, verbs etc).
Then it will make more sense and you will see the pattern in lots if examples.
A cooperator
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 12:31:30 AM

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thar wrote:
You are not matching the model sentence.

There are five Dutch people in our village.


That is a noun phrase.


So you can't replace it with a verb.

It is pleased...

You have to have a noun there:

It is a pleasure to visit you.


Thar- and Fyfardens,

I am not talking about my visit to another one, however, I am talking about my pleasure since I was visited.

It’s always interesting to find out about your family history.
To find out about your family history is always interesting. (The real subject – the thing that is interesting – is ‘to find out about your family history’.)

There are five Dutch people in our village. (The real subject is the Dutch people – they are in the village.)
- Five Dutch people are in our village.

Note: only these below are my own examples trying to translate a sentence written in Arabic to English: That sentence written in Arabic has this construction "Verb + a pronoun acting as an object + infinitive with to." "Infinitive" is said to be the subject.

I tried translating it from Arabic to English as:
I am pleased that you visit me.
It is pleased that you visit me.
It pleases me that you visit me.
It pleases me to visit me. ("it" is just a dummy subject. However, the real subject. The real subject is "To visit me". So, "To visit me pleases me.")

If I had to have a noun, and say "it is a pleasure to visit me.", then there would be no equivalence between the sentence written in Arabic and in the English. As said, I try translating Arabic sentence to English.


Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 12:50:09 AM

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That was just to show you your mistake.

You make the sentence - but if you want to use that structure, use a noun.
Then you have to work out how to put the rest of the sentence together correctly.
Fyfardens
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 1:02:56 AM
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I am pleased that you visit me. Possible
It is pleased that you visit me. Not possible
It pleases me that you visit me. Possible
It pleases me to visit me. Not possible

Stop trying to fit English into Arabic patterns or vice versa. That's a recipe for disaster.

I speak British English (standard southern, slightly dated).
palapaguy
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 1:15:33 AM

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Agree!
A cooperator
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 1:20:37 AM

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thar wrote:
That was just to show you your mistake.

You make the sentence - but if you want to use that structure, use a noun.
Then you have to work out how to put the rest of the sentence together correctly.

Thar- could you tell me if translating a sentence from Arabic to English can make sense.


Note: my own example I am trying to translate from Arabic to English has not any noun. That sentence written in Arabic has this structure "Verb + a pronoun acting as an object + infinitive with to." "Infinitive" is said to be the subject.

I tried translating it from Arabic to English by ordering the parts of the sentence in English according to the parts of the sentence in Arabic.
Could you please correct me, if any English sentence was wrong?

I, even the Google Translation of my own Arabic sentence, say the first and second ones are the correct. But, you said they make no sense.

1) I am pleased to visit me. => to visit me pleases me. (The noun phrase in bold is the real subject.)

2) It is pleased to visit me. => to visit me pleases me. (The noun phrase in bold is the real subject.)


If I had to have a noun, and say "it is a pleasure to visit me.", then there would be no equivalence between the sentence written in Arabic and in the English. As said, I try translating Arabic sentence to English.

3) It is a pleasure to visit me.=> to visit me is a pleasure. (The noun phrase in bold is the real subject.)

4) Your visit pleases me.

5) I don't know if "Pleased to visit me." can be correct and convey the same meaning?


Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
A cooperator
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 1:48:37 AM

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thar wrote:
You are not matching the model sentence.

There are five Dutch people in our village.


That is a noun phrase.


So you can't replace it with a verb.

It is pleased...

You have to have a noun there:

It is a pleasure to visit you.


Thar-
But, I didn't use any verb, the "pleased" in both examples below is not used as part of a passive verb here, it is used as an adjective.
It is pleased to visit me. => to visit me pleases me. (The noun phrase in bold is the real subject.)
I am pleased to visit me. => to visit me pleases me. (The noun phrase in bold is the real subject.)



Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 12:34:02 PM

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A cooperator wrote:
thar wrote:
You are not matching the model sentence.

There are five Dutch people in our village.


That is a noun phrase.


So you can't replace it with a verb.

It is pleased...

You have to have a noun there:

It is a pleasure to visit you.


Thar-
But, I didn't use any verb, the "pleased" in both examples below is not used as part of a passive verb here, it is used as an adjective.
I don't know if I can make things more clear or add to your confusion, but the mistake I see is that you have the real subject wrong. In English, "to visit me" can't be the subject in your sentences below. The only one that might work is the infinitive "to visit me" as a subject, but it would sound strange.

It is pleased to visit me. => to visit me pleases me. (The noun phrase in bold is the real subject.)
Here, "It" is the subject, but an "it" can not be pleased, so that makes no sense to us. I can be pleased, you can be pleased, he/she/they/ can be pleased but an "it" cannot be pleased.

I am pleased to visit me. => to visit me pleases me. (The noun phrase in bold is the real subject.)
And here, "I" is the subject. An action pleases me. What is that action? A visit. So it is the action that pleases me. I am pleased by the action -- the visit. So we say, "I am pleased by your visit", or "I am pleased when you visit".



A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 7:25:17 AM

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FounDit wrote:

But, I didn't use any verb, the "pleased" in both examples below is not used as part of a passive verb here, it is used as an adjective.
I don't know if I can make things more clear or add to your confusion, but the mistake I see is that you have the real subject wrong. In English, "to visit me" can't be the subject in your sentences below. The only one that might work is the infinitive "to visit me" as a subject, but it would sound strange.

It is pleased to visit me. => to visit me pleases me. (The noun phrase in bold is the real subject.)
Here, "It" is the subject, but an "it" can not be pleased, so that makes no sense to us. I can be pleased, you can be pleased, he/she/they/ can be pleased but an "it" cannot be pleased.

I am pleased to visit me. => to visit me pleases me. (The noun phrase in bold is the real subject.)
And here, "I" is the subject. An action pleases me. What is that action? A visit. So it is the action that pleases me. I am pleased by the action -- the visit. So we say, "I am pleased by your visit", or "I am pleased when you visit".


Thanks a lot, FounDit

First of all,
I read in Michael's grammar book, 446- Section, "it" is used as [u] a preparatory subject[/b]. When [s]the subject of a clause is an infinitive expression[/b], this doesn't normally come at the beginning. We usually prefer to start with the "preparatory subject" (it), and put the infinitive expression later. Preparatory "it" is common before " be + adjective/noun.

It was good of you to phone. (More natural than "To phone was good of you." (I, myself, think the subject is "to phone").

It was stupid of you to leave the door unlocked. (More natural than "To leave the door unlocked was stupid of you.) (I myself think the subject is "to leave the door unlocked".)

However,

1) I do not know why I cannot use the adjectives "pleased" and "happy" with the same way "it" is a preparatory subject.
It is happy to me to visit me. ( More natural than "To visit me is happy to me.)
It is pleased to me to visit me. (More natural than "To visit me is pleased to me.)

2) could you give me the adjectives not used after "to be" such as "pleased, happy, etc. while "it" is used as a preparatory subject before "to be"?

3)in the above sentences, why do you say that "it" is the subject, however, "infinitive expression" is the real subject?


4) I was told "To phone was good of you" is a bit awkward. "It was good of you to phone" is more natural native English, even though it takes more words. "Phoning was good of you" also works."

However, then I noticed another one told me this sentence below is natural although it can begin with an infinitive expression if rephrase it. Think
"The following sentence is normal and natural: "Cycling in a city where there are lots of tram lines is not very pleasant."
We can't say "It is not very pleasant to cycle in a city where there are lots of tram lines"?
If we can, then "To cycle in a city where there are lots of tram lines is not very pleasant. "

5)(I, myself, think the subject is "to phone" in "It was good of you to phone". ).
This is the first time I have come across a subject coming after its verb in English.Think Though this is normal and must be done in Arabic.


Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Audiendus
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 9:11:08 AM
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A cooperator wrote:
However,

1) I do not know why I cannot use the adjectives "pleased" and "happy" with the same way "it" is a preparatory subject.
It is happy to me to visit me. ( More natural than "To visit me is happy to me.)
It is pleased to me to visit me. (More natural than "To visit me is pleased to me.)

The above sentences do not work, because they do not give the right meaning. The intended meaning is that I am happy/pleased that you (or somebody else) visits me. But the above sentences do not mention "you" or another person; they only mention "me", so they seem to be referring (wrongly) to "my" visiting. Compare the following:

I am pleased to come. [This refers to my coming.]
I am delighted to read this. [This refers to my reading.]
He is afraid to be alone. [This refers to his being alone.]
I am pleased to visit me. [This would refer to my visiting; but that would not make sense.]
It is pleased to visit me. [This would refer to "its" visiting; but "it" cannot "visit". You cannot change this to "To visit me is pleased". because "visiting" cannot be pleased.]
It is good to visit people. [This is OK, because "it" can "be good". You can change this to "To visit people is good", because "visiting people" can be good.]

As always, you have to consider the meaning. A construction that works in one case may not make sense in another case.
Fyfardens
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 9:37:33 AM
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Audiendus wrote:


As always, you have to consider the meaning. A construction that works in one case may not make sense in another case.


Applause

It is happy to agree with me.


Whistle

I speak British English (standard southern, slightly dated).
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 11:56:48 AM

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Audiendus wrote:
A cooperator wrote:
However,

1) I do not know why I cannot use the adjectives "pleased" and "happy" with the same way "it" is a preparatory subject.
It is happy to me to visit me. ( More natural than "To visit me is happy to me.)
It is pleased to me to visit me. (More natural than "To visit me is pleased to me.)

The above sentences do not work, because they do not give the right meaning. The intended meaning is that I am happy/pleased that you (or somebody else) visits me. But the above sentences do not mention "you" or another person; they only mention "me", so they seem to be referring (wrongly) to "my" visiting. Compare the following.


Thanks a lot,

First of all, the intended meaning is I am the one who am visited by you or another person. Not I am the one who visits you or another person.
Thus,
It is happy to me to visit me. (To visit me is happy to me.)
It is pleased to me to visit me. (To visit me is pleased to me)

If I meant my visit to you or another person, I would have said
"It is happy to me to visit you."
"It is pleased to me to visit you."


2) if they had been still wrong, then I would rephrase them as "It is happy to agree with me". I want to use "it" as a preparatory subject, and don't want "I".
It is happy to visit me.
It is pleased to visit me.

3) if still wrong, then why is "it is happy to agree with me" correct?

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Fyfardens
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 12:05:04 PM
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A cooperator wrote:

First of all, I am the one who am visited by you or another person. Not I am the one who visit you or another person.
Thus,
It is happy to me to visit me. (To visit me is happy to me.)
It is pleased to me to visit me. (To visit me is pleased to me)

If I meant my visit to you or another person, I would have said
"It is happy to me to visit you."
"It is pleased to me to visit you."


2) if they are still wrong, then I would rephrase them as "It is happy to agree with me". I want to use "it" as a preparatory subject, and don't want "I".
It is happy to visit me.
It is pleased to visit me.


NONE of those is correct
. They are so incorrect that they would be incomprehensible to most native speakers.

Quote:
3) if still wrong, then why is "it is happy to agree with me" correct?

It is not correct. I wrote that in an obviously failed attempt to inject a touch of lightness into the thread.

I speak British English (standard southern, slightly dated).
Audiendus
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 12:32:28 PM
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A cooperator wrote:
First of all, the intended meaning is I am the one who am visited by you or another person.

Yes, that is what I said! Please read my post carefully.
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 12:46:39 PM

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Fyfardens wrote:
Quote:
A cooperator wrote:

Quote:
3) if still wrong, then why is "it is happy to agree with me" correct?

It is not correct. I wrote that in an obviously failed attempt to inject a touch of lightness into the thread.


Hmm!
Better not to bring it up and just suck it up.Angel

1) could you give me some of the adjectives not used after "to be" such as "pleased, happy, etc. while "it" is used as a preparatory subject before "to be"?

2)"it" is used as a preparatory subject when the subject of a clause is an infinitive expression, this doesn't normally come at the beginning. We usually prefer to start with the "preparatory subject" (it), and put the infinitive expression later. Then, why we do have two subjects, "it" and "an infinitive expression"?

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 1:26:11 PM
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Coop. You have totally misunderstood the whole subject of what you call the "dummy it".

Not one of your sentences starting with "it" make sense.

When reading English sentences, have you EVER come across a sentence starting with "it" that you couldn't understand? Have you ever wanted to write a sentence starting with "it" but found you couldn't?(I'm talking emails etc. not grammar exercises from a book). If the answer is either "no" or "I can't remember" then why on earth are you bothering with something that is so supremely unimportant?

Learn how to phrase simple questions so people understand what you are asking.

Make sure you know how to build a sentence IN ENGLISH. (Not 'translating' from another language.)

Forget about how a completely separate language, with different rules and different syntax, compares to English. It doesn't. You cannot learn English based on Arabic.Or Urdu. Or Tagalog. Or Turkish.Or any other language. (Arabic was my First Language until I started school.)

And, as Audiendus, Thar, Fyfardens, - all the people who still have the patience to try to help you - have said, time and time again: Ask one question per post.

Then, make sure you have understood it in ENGLISH - not translated from Arabic - and are comfortable using it, before you move on to the next question.

I've given you links to the BBC Learning English programme before; but now I can't post or receive URLs any more I can't send it again.However, look up "BBC Learning English" on Google. Listen to people conversing in English; get used to the sound of it; understand when people are joking; and note that we use simple words and simple sentences in ordinary conversation. There are heaps and heaps of English scripts so you can listen AND read; the whole site is aimed at people who don't hear English spoken. And though they also run courses for which one has to enrol and pay, you can still access spoken English and English lessons and discussions for free.

A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 2:33:18 PM

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Romany wrote:

Coop. You have totally misunderstood the whole subject of what you call the "dummy it".

Not one of your sentences starting with "it" make sense.

When reading English sentences, have you EVER come across a sentence starting with "it" that you couldn't understand? Have you ever wanted to write a sentence starting with "it" but found you couldn't?(I'm talking emails etc. not grammar exercises from a book). If the answer is either "no" or "I can't remember" then why on earth are you bothering with something that is so supremely unimportant?

Learn how to phrase simple questions so people understand what you are asking.

Make sure you know how to build a sentence IN ENGLISH. (Not 'translating' from another language.)

Forget about how a completely separate language, with different rules and different syntax, compares to English. It doesn't. You cannot learn English based on Arabic.Or Urdu. Or Tagalog. Or Turkish.Or any other language. (Arabic was my First Language until I started school.)


Are you getting at me! Or you're really trying to help! But, I really found it so difficult that I put up with such a writing style of yours. But, I take it that you sent it good intention
However you intended, I am determined to succeed.
I think it would have been much better if you had attempted to help even to answer what is the difference between dummy subject "it" and preparatory subject "it".

Going back to your question, yes I have come across sentences beginning with "it" acting as a subject, or after a verb acting as the object of it. but although I understand to which it refers, I still don't know what part of speech "it" is.

I know "it" is used for the third-person singular pronoun. But, for an inanimate /moveless subjects or objects.

I really haven't seen you have ever given any links to the BBC Learning English programme before. But, you had not to do so.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
georgew
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 3:30:39 PM
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You say: "I am determined to success." OK, here are links for you AGAIN. If this isn't visible, tell your browser to display the "page source". Even better, as Romany suggested, Google it yourself: BBC Learning English programme.

www.google.com/search?q=bbc+english+learning+program+free&oq=BBC+Learning+English+programme&aqs=chrome.5.69i57j0l5.15391j0j7&client=ubuntu&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 4:26:58 PM

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georgew wrote:
You say: "I am determined to success." OK, here are links for you AGAIN. If this isn't visible, tell your browser to display the "page source". Even better, as Romany suggested, Google it yourself: BBC Learning English programme.

www.google.com/search?q=bbc+english+learning+program+free&oq=BBC+Learning+English+programme&aqs=chrome.5.69i57j0l5.15391j0j7&client=ubuntu&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


Thanks
No, I did say "I am determined to succeed."
I was just kidding. Yes, I can be googling it myself, but I don't see that studying English or any other languages at any website lacking to interacting with English speakers will be worth trying.
I have some of learning English books series. Some grammar books, but none of them would really learn an English learner how to compose her/his own sentences and speak in perfect English.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
georgew
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 6:56:42 PM
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A cooperator wrote:
georgew wrote:
You say: "I am determined to success." OK, here are links for you AGAIN. If this isn't visible, tell your browser to display the "page source". Even better, as Romany suggested, Google it yourself: BBC Learning English programme.

www.google.com/search?q=bbc+english+learning+program+free&oq=BBC+Learning+English+programme&aqs=chrome.5.69i57j0l5.15391j0j7&client=ubuntu&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


Thanks
No, I did say "I am determined to succeed."
You said "I am determined to success."

I was just kidding. Yes, I can be googling it myself, but I don't see that studying English or any other languages at any website lacking to interacting with English speakers will be worth trying.
In that case, why do you spend so much time in this forum?

I have some of learning English books series. Some grammar books, but none of them would really learn an English learner how to compose her/his own sentences and speak in perfect English.
True. That's why posters here keep recommending you enroll in a person-to-person class.
Audiendus
Posted: Sunday, January 7, 2018 8:59:51 PM
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A cooperator wrote:
could you give me some of the adjectives not used after "to be" such as "pleased, happy, etc. while "it" is used as a preparatory subject before "to be"?

If "to [verb or verb phrase] is [adjective]" makes sense, then we can say "it is [adjective] to [verb or verb phrase]". If it does not make sense, then we cannot. For example:

To read is enjoyable.
It is enjoyable to read.

To meet people is good.
It is good to meet people.

To drive too fast is dangerous.
It is dangerous to drive too fast.

To visit friends is pleasing.
It is pleasing to visit friends.

To visit friends is pleased. [This makes no sense. To visit friends can be pleasing (i.e. it can please people), but it cannot itself be pleased, as it is not an animate thing.]
It is pleased to visit friends.

To visit me is happy. [makes no sense, for the reason stated above]
It is happy to visit me.
A cooperator
Posted: Monday, January 8, 2018 8:36:00 AM

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georgew wrote:
A cooperator wrote:
georgew wrote:
You say: "I am determined to success." OK, here are links for you AGAIN. If this isn't visible, tell your browser to display the "page source". Even better, as Romany suggested, Google it yourself: BBC Learning English programme.

www.google.com/search?q=bbc+english+learning+program+free&oq=BBC+Learning+English+programme&aqs=chrome.5.69i57j0l5.15391j0j7&client=ubuntu&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


Thanks
No, I did say "I am determined to succeed."
You said "I am determined to success."

No, I did say "I am determined to succeed." You should have quoted my post in order for you cite it. Anyway, if I made it done, then it would have been a typo, and we all learn from our errors, and whoever insists on saying: she/he never makes a mistake will still repeat the same error.

I was just kidding. Yes, I can be googling it myself, but I don't see that studying English or any other languages at any website lacking to interacting with English speakers will be worth trying.
In that case, why do you spend so much time in this forum?

Since I read learning-English books, and if I don't know any stuff, I can ask it on here. In classes, as my experience was, only teachers taught students what they wanted to teach, and left what they wanted to. They didn't like being asked. Even I noticed teachers didn't like being spoken to.
I have some of learning English books series. Some grammar books, but none of them would really learn an English learner how to compose her/his own sentences and speak in perfect English.
True. That's why posters here keep recommending you enroll in a person-to-person class.
See my second point.



Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
A cooperator
Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018 9:22:35 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,784
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Audiendus wrote:

To visit friends is pleased. [This makes no sense. To visit friends can be pleasing (i.e. it can please people), but it cannot itself be pleased, as it is not an animate thing.]
It is pleased to visit friends.

To visit me is happy. [makes no sense, for the reason stated above]
It is happy to visit me.


Audiendus, Is this difficult topic, and I shouldn't be discouraged.
I read somewhere in 'noun clause begging with 'that':
Quote:
If the subject is too long, it may be difficult for the reader to understand the sentence. To solve this problem, we usually use the introductory ‘it’.
In this case, ‘it’ will occupy the position of the subject, but it is not the real subject. It merely signals that a noun-clause is to follow.
Examples are given below:
It surprised me that he was still in bed. (More natural than ‘That he was still in bed surprised me.’)
She made it clear that she wouldn’t accept the proposal.
(NOT She made that she wouldn’t accept the proposal clear.) (NOT She made clear that she wouldn’t accept the proposal.)
Note that the introductory it can be used only with ‘that’. It cannot be used with the expressions ‘the idea that / the belief that / the fact that’ etc
.



As a result, to solve the problem of the above are not correct, then If I say what is below, you think they are correct.
It pleases me that you visit me.(more natural than 'That you visit me pleases me.')




Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Audiendus
Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018 10:36:03 PM
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A cooperator wrote:
It pleases me that you visit me.(more natural than 'That you visit me pleases me.')

Yes, that is correct.
A cooperator
Posted: Saturday, January 13, 2018 7:09:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,784
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Audiendus wrote:
A cooperator wrote:
It pleases me that you visit me.(more natural than 'That you visit me pleases me.')

Yes, that is correct.


Romany wrote:

Coop. You have totally misunderstood the whole subject of what you call the "dummy it".


Audindus,
*dummy subject/empty subject: we use "it" as a meaningless subject with expressions that refer to time, weather, temperature, or distances, e.g.,
It's ten o'clock.
It is freezing in here.
It is ten miles to the nearest petrol station.

However, Romany, said above none of my sentences have "it" as a dummy subject.
However, I read somewhere "Sometimes we need to use a 'dummy' or 'empty' or 'artificial' subject when there is no subject attached to the verb, and where the real subject is somewhere else in the clause. It and there are the two dummy subjects used in English: It's always interesting to find out about your family history."


As a result, I think this sentence "It's always interesting to find out about your family history." begins with "preparatory 'it', and the infinitive "to find" is put latter as discussed here, but in this sentence, it is said "it" is used as a dummy, empty subject, not as a preparatory.

"it" refers to what here? And why Romany, said above it is not a dummy.

Could you please help me how to know if "it/there" is used as dummy/empty subject, or as preparatory?

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Audiendus
Posted: Saturday, January 13, 2018 9:02:02 AM
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A cooperator wrote:
As a result, I think this sentence "It's always interesting to find out about your family history." begins with "preparatory 'it', and the infinitive "to find" is put latter as discussed here, but in this sentence, it is said "it" is used as a dummy, empty subject, not as a preparatory.

"it" refers to what here? And why Romany, said above it is not a dummy.

Could you please help me how to know if "it/there" is used as dummy/empty subject, or as preparatory?


It doesn't matter what you call it, as long as you know how to use it.

You could call "It" in the above sentence 'preparatory', as it 'prepares' the later infinitive. I myself would also call it a 'dummy/empty subject', but some people may restrict that term to cases where the "it" refers to nothing at all, e.g. "It is raining". In your example, the "it" does refer to something, i.e. the infinitive phrase "to find out about your family history".
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, January 14, 2018 1:10:39 PM

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Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,784
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Audiendus wrote:
A cooperator wrote:
As a result, I think this sentence "It's always interesting to find out about your family history." begins with "preparatory 'it', and the infinitive "to find" is put latter as discussed here, but in this sentence, it is said "it" is used as a dummy, empty subject, not as a preparatory.

"it" refers to what here? And why Romany, said above it is not a dummy.

Could you please help me how to know if "it/there" is used as dummy/empty subject, or as preparatory?


It doesn't matter what you call it, as long as you know how to use it.

You could call "It" in the above sentence 'preparatory', as it 'prepares' the later infinitive. I myself would also call it a 'dummy/empty subject', but some people may restrict that term to cases where the "it" refers to nothing at all, e.g. "It is raining". In your example, the "it" does refer to something, i.e. the infinitive phrase "to find out about your family history".


Audiendus
I now know that kinds of subjects in English can be:
1) an appearing subject in the beginning of a clause: the subject is the doer of the action or the one being talked about in the sentence.
All subjects are either nouns, pronouns, gerunds, infinitives or clause, and are placed before or after the verb.
Jane went home late. (doer of the action)
Myla is the smartest student in our class. (One being talked about).

2) a dummy subject: the subject with no concrete reference.
It's raining hard outside.
It's dark inside the room.
3) a hidden (implied) subject: the subject is before the verb in imperative sentence:
Keep up the good work. (You).
Please, pass the salt. (You).


My questions are:

1) I read a subject can be placed after a verb. However, I don't find any subject coming after a verb. So, can I find an example of that?

2) does each sentence begin with "there/it", then there is no concrete reference for subject and dummy subject "it/there" is used?

3) in some sentences, the real subject is put latter in part of a clause and in this case we use "It and there" as unreal subjects referring to real subject in a clause. So, we can have two subjects(real subject and preparatory subject).

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, January 14, 2018 2:34:09 PM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Coop wrote:

"It is happy to me to visit me. (To visit me is happy to me.)
It is pleased to me to visit me. (To visit me is pleased to me)

If I meant my visit to you or another person, I would have said
"It is happy to me to visit you."
"It is pleased to me to visit you."


2) if they had been still wrong, then I would rephrase them as "It is happy to agree with me". I want to use "it" as a preparatory subject, and don't want "I".
It is happy to visit me.
It is pleased to visit me.

3) if still wrong, then why is "it is happy to agree with me" correct? "

To which I responded

"Coop. You have totally misunderstood the whole subject of what you call the "dummy it". Not one of your sentences starting with "it" make sense."

I did not, anywhere, state that "It" was not used in the way you were asking about. I said you had not understood it. As you demonstrated by your "it" sentences, which made no sense.
A cooperator
Posted: Friday, January 19, 2018 10:47:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,784
Neurons: 10,062
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Could anyone please answer my points below?


I now know that kinds of subjects in English can be:
1) an appearing subject in the beginning of a clause: the subject is the doer of the action or the one being talked about in the sentence.
All subjects are either nouns, pronouns, gerunds, infinitives or clause, and are placed before or after the verb.
Jane went home late. (doer of the action)
Myla is the smartest student in our class. (One being talked about).

2) a dummy subject: the subject with no concrete reference.
It's raining hard outside.
It's dark inside the room.
3) a hidden (implied) subject: the subject is before the verb in imperative sentence:
Keep up the good work. (You).
Please, pass the salt. (You).


My questions are:

1) I read a subject can be placed after a verb. However, I don't find any subject coming after a verb. So, can I find an example of that?

2) does each sentence begin with "there/it", then there is no concrete reference for subject and dummy subject "it/there" is used?

3) in some sentences, the real subject is put letter in part of a clause and in this case we use "It and there" as unreal subjects referring to real subject in a clause. So, we can have two subjects(real subject and preparatory subject).

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
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