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Hello,

I would be most grateful for some help,

I understand that it and there are both used as dummy subjects.

After doing some research , I read that we use there when the subject follows the verb,  and It is used when this is not the case.

A student I volunteer with wrote this sentence:

1. It is no doubt that money influences our lives.

As a native speaker, i suggested using :

2.There is no doubt that money influences our lives.

My question:

In sentence 2 there  must be a subject following there, but what is it?

Also is it always true that you can't use IT when a subject doesn't follow the sentence verb?

Many thanks to you as always.

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@Mrchuffie posted:


I understand that it and there are both used as dummy subjects.

After doing some research , I read that we use there when the subject follows the verb,  and It is used when this is not the case.



Hi, Mrchuffie—When "there" and "it" are used as dummy subjects, they are indeed grammatical subjects. So when you refer to the (real) subject, you are talking about the logical or semantic subject. Consider this sentence:

(A) It is a shame that there is a pandemic.

That sentence has two dummy subjects. Dummy "it" is the subject of the main clause, and dummy "there" is the subject of the "that"-clause. The logical, "extraposed" subject related to "it" is the "that"-clause:

(A') That there is a pandemic is a shame.

As you can see, now that the "that"-clause is fronted, the semantic subject related to dummy "it" really did follow the verb. The semantic subject in the clause with dummy "there" as grammatical subject is "a shame."

(A'') That a pandemic is, is a shame.

@Mrchuffie posted:


A student I volunteer with wrote this sentence:

1. It is no doubt that money influences our lives.

As a native speaker, i suggested using :

2.There is no doubt that money influences our lives.



Yes, that is what the student should have used. Sentence (1) doesn't work,.

@Mrchuffie posted:


My question:

In sentence 2 there  must be a subject following there, but what is it?

The semantic subject of the sentence "There is no doubt that money influences our lives" is "no doubt that money influences our lives." The sentence means: "No doubt that money influences our lives is/exists."

@Mrchuffie posted:


Also is it always true that you can't use IT when a subject doesn't follow the sentence verb?

Your secondary question here appears to imply that you believe that you can't use "it" as a dummy subject when the semantic subject does not follow the main verb. Actually, not only can we do that. That's how it's always done.

Last edited by David, Moderator

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