@Gustavo, Co-Moderator posted:
I find that "it" there is used to contrast the two noun clauses that follow (it's not this but that):
- In their view, it wasn’t so much that people with similar attitudes became friends, but rather that people who passed each other during the day tended to become friends and so came to adopt similar attitudes over time.
"so much" and "rather" can be omitted to be more categorical in discarding the first option and asserting the second one:
- It's not that people with similar attitudes will always become friends, but that they will become friends when they see each other often and adopt similar attitudes over time.
Hi, Gustavo, sorry to cut in but this is exactly the same type of question which I would intend to bring up soon.
Based on your answer, am I o.k. to understand above "it" as an "impersonal subject", which refers to a vague situation, not "a referential it" and the "so much that clause" as a complement of the verb - "was"?