Reply to "'It' vs 'this'"

subhajit123 posted:

Hi there, which one is more correct in the following context: 'it' or 'this' ?

1- John‚ have you heard that the government has decided to cut fifty four thousand trees for a new project? Is it/this right? What do you think?

Hi, Subhajit,

The sentence will be ambiguous no matter which one you choose. It's unclear whether the sentence is supposed to mean "Is that correct?" -- i.e., "Is the information I have given you correct?" -- or "Is this an ethically condonable course of action?"

I presume it is supposed to have the latter meaning, because (assuming "What do you think?" belongs to the example and is not your/Subhajit's question to us) the speaker is asking for the listener's opinion. I recommend changing the question so that both "it" and "this" are used:

1a-John‚ have you heard that the government has decided to cut down fifty-four thousand trees for a new project? Is it right for them to do this? What do you think?

Please note that there is a hyphen in "fifty-four thousand." I have also added "down" after "cut" for additional clarity.

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