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It's this that has allowed VS it's what has allowed Options
maltliquor87
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 3:28:51 PM

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Joined: 11/29/2017
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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Hello!

Am I right in my understanding that
1) the following two sentences in quotation marks are both grammatically correct and mean the same;
2) the first one has some additional emphasis ?

Quote:
It is this that has allowed offensive behavior to be considered actionable

Quote:
It is what has allowed offensive behavior to be considered actionable

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 3:44:46 PM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi!

Yes - they mean pretty much the same thing - both would follow a statement (it could be one sentence or half a book!) which names and describes something. I don't know what it is in the article you have, but an example might be "The fact that some behaviour encourages violence".

Your second sentence simply states that "It is the fact that some behaviour encourages violence which has allowed offensive behaviour to be considered actionable."

The first sentence emphasises that it is THIS fact, not any other fact. In speech (and often in writing too) the word "this" would be highlighted (stressed verbally or capitals, bold, underlined or some other written marking).
It is this which has allowed offensive behaviour to be considered actionable.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
maltliquor87
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 3:47:32 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/29/2017
Posts: 135
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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Drag0nspeaker,
Thank you so much for your answer.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 3:52:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,140
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
You're very welcome - Пожалуйста.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 5:02:59 PM

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And of course there is a third version with that same emphasis on 'this':

This is what has allowed....


Although, actually, looking at the end - this is an odd statement.

If something is deemed 'offensive' that would seem to be automatically actionable - pretty much the definition of offensive!
Audiendus
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 8:10:01 PM
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Location: London, England, United Kingdom
maltliquor87 wrote:
Quote:
It is this that has allowed offensive behavior to be considered actionable

Quote:
It is what has allowed offensive behavior to be considered actionable


As far as the grammar is concerned, I would say that the 'it' in the first sentence is a dummy 'it' (= it is this fact that has allowed...), but the 'it' in the second sentence refers to the fact itself (this fact is what has allowed...).
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 2:25:30 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,140
Neurons: 176,780
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
That's right - I didn't look at the form of the sentence.

If "it" were a 'real (not dummy) pronoun' in the first, there would be three 'subject-type' pronouns, but only two finite verbs.
"It", "this", "that" - "is", "has allowed".
"It" and "this" both refer to "the fact" and are shown to be the same thing by 'is' (which can usually be replaced by an equals sign ( = ) if you are mathematically-minded).

The second sentence has two of each.
"It", "what" - "is", "has allowed".

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
maltliquor87
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 10:52:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/29/2017
Posts: 135
Neurons: 55,546
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Thank you all
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