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Reply to "Pronoun or Preparatory it"

When "it" is alone, I think it is merely an emphatic  "it" used to stress the whole sentence. It always appears in pairs, as you can read in this old thread. Since the whole sentence is being emphasized, I understand that "so much" merely modifies "not" to soften the negative effect, while "rather" softens the assertion that follows:

- People with similar attitudes did not become friends. Instead, people who passed each other during the day tended to become friends and came to adopt similar attitudes over time. (Normal sentences)

- It wasn't that people with similar attitudes became friends. It was that people who passed each other during the day tended to become friends and came to adopt similar attitudes over time. (Emphatic sentences)

- It wasn't so much that people with similar attitudes became friends but rather that people who passed each other during the day became friends and came to adopt similar attitudes over time. (Emphatic sentences with a hedge, i.e. so much and rather)

Hi, Gustavo, I really like this explanation with great thanks.

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