What syntactic category does IT in the following sentence belong to?
I am fine with the meaning of the sentence.
I just want to be able to explain what that IT is when asked.

How do you like it here?


Original Post
It in the sentence "How do you like it here" is a pronoun, the direct object of the verb like. In the sentence the pronoun it refers to an unidentified, general set of circumstances pertaining to the "here" location of the utterance.

"It" might mean the weather, the work atmosphere, the nature of the local community life, the environment of the school where the speakers are talking, or any number of any other things.

The speaker expects the hearer to understand what's being referred to in a general sense, but in some cases, the hearer may have to ask for clarification, saying "What do you mean--the people, the climate--what? Or the hearer may respond, 'I like the people and the cultural life, but the cold, dark winters really get to me."

Marilyn Martin

The Collins BUBUILD* has this entry, among 12, for "it":

"You use it with some verbs that need a subject or object, although there is no noun that it refers to. Of course, as it turned out, three-fourths of the people in the group were psychiatrists....I like it here....We live in a world in which only the strongest can make it to the top."

So this "it" in your sentence, " How do you like it here?" is a singular pronoun, direct object of the verb "like," representing a kind of amorphous idea. It could mean the ambience, the city, the life, your place in the city, the weather, the people....any or all of those, or other factors.

*The Collins COBUILD English Dictionary. Harper Collins. 1995

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