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Hello, everyone!

It cost 70% less to construct than a normal building.

Which view is grammatically correct to evaluate the role of above to infinitive – to construct – between following two ;

1. it; preparatory ‘it’, to construct; extra subject. In this case, the original sentence of above before abbreviation is ‘It cost 70% less to construct than (it cost to construct) a normal building.'?

2. it; empty ‘it’, to construct; adverbial to modify the verb ‘cost’.

Since I feel this sentence seems tricky, I would like to be advised various opinions. At moment, I have no additional context as it stands only.

Thank and RGDS

Original Post

While I discussed above issue with a local person later, he advised me as follows about his analysis. How much reasonable do you think his opinion is?;

1. the original sentence is ‘It cost 70% less to construct it than a normal building, as recycled material was used.’.

- first ‘it’; preparatory it

- ‘to construct it’; extraposed subject phrase

2. by the rule of ‘tough-Movement’(object raising) the ‘it’ after ‘construct’ has been raised to the beginning.

3. then, we have ‘It cost 70% less to construct than a normal building ~ .’;

- ‘it’ is a referring pronoun. (which might be a kind of building made of plastic bottles, etc.)

- ‘to construct’; modifying the verb ‘cost

4. his analysis is based on following ground;

With verbal predicates, Tough-Movement seems to be restricted to take and synonyms such as cost, require or need:

(12) This questionnaire should not require/take/need more than ten minutes to complete.

(13) This building will cost more than a million pounds to repair.

* source;

(writer: Christian Mair (English Linguistics), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, English Department, Faculty Member, Professor of English)

Last edited by deepcosmos

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