it

BE + of NOUN PHRASE

Why say “is of interest” instead of “is interesting“? ‘is of + noun‘ is more formal and in academic writing, we use the noun form of a word more often.  More importantly, ‘of+noun’ functions as a noun in this position.  Therefore, it can often collocate correctly with modifiers.  For example:  “greatest interest” is much more …

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WORD (phrases)

In the English Vocabulary Profile at B1: not believe/understand/hear/say, etc. a word = anything A search in iWeb corpus for: _XX _VV a word 1 N’T SAY A WORD 1726 Don’t say a word against my father. listen 2 NOT SAY A WORD 756 3 N’T UNDERSTAND A WORD 608 It was brilliant, even though I didn’t understand a word of it. listen 4 N’T BELIEVE A …

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there it remains

1 virology.ws   mavirus and CroV, the virophage integrates into the host cell genome. There it remains silent; the cells survive, and no virophage particles are produced. Such cells 2 millbanksystems.com   Measure, once a living becomes the property of the Board of Patronage there it remains for ever; and I submit to your Lordships that to allow a door to 3 fightaging.org   DNA plasmid …

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basic pronouns in English

We love the English Grammar Profile, however, there are often times when many grammar points should be one grammar point.  For example, there are many points dealing with basic pronouns at the A1 level. 1 ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, ‘we’ and ‘they’ in the subject position before a verb in statements. I like it here, but I don’t like the name. …

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Children’s grammar?

We love testing the grammar profiler app against all types of texts.  The following comes from an 8-year-old in grade 3 in an Australian primary school.  She was asked to write a paragraph about anything.  The CLAWS7 tagger had a problem marking the part of speech for a few words since they are new.  And …

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‘would rather’ | ‘it’s time’ + PAST TENSE CLAUSE

Here we look at examples of using ‘the past tense’ in a way that is not referring to past time.  In these EXPERT EXAMPLES: It’s time we started to think about the environment and a little bit less about money. Isle of Man Newspapers As an environmentalist, we would rather that didn’t happen. TED ‘the past tense’ expresses a wish that is distanced from the real situation. In reality, they are not thinking …

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WHAT IS IT YOU WANT? (relative clause question)

Let’s analyse questions that have relative clauses to give emphasis.  So usually, we would say something like: What do we want to ask?  What are we trying to find out here? You can see the normal auxiliary verbs ‘be’ and ‘do’ get removed and relative clauses are added in the EXPERT EXAMPLES: What is it that we want …

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only | just (focus)

In the English Grammar Profile, A2 point 32 in the category of ADVERBS/ as modifiers: limited range of adverbs (‘only’, ‘just’) to focus on or point to something PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: (referring to the eating of dog meat) Therefore, it is just an act of eating. Korean male level 4 writing class. A search in iWeb for: it_P _*Z only|just …

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‘It should be noted that’ (passives to summarise)

In the English Grammar Profile, C1 point 36 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: ‘it’ as a dummy subject, to summarise or evaluate in discussions, usually in formal or academic writing. This point often overlaps C1 impersonal modal passive reporting. *This might clash with B2. A search of the formal patterns found in the …

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It can | could + be + said | argued | concluded | considered

The pronoun ‘it’ can be used where the subject is unclear at C1, and verbs such as ‘conclude’ are only used by C1 learners.  For example: It was concluded that it never existed. However, this post is about reporting with modal verbs. C1 point 208 in MODALITY is defined as: ‘can’ in passive reporting clauses in a more formal impersonal …

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‘It is god who gives life.’ (It CLEFT CLAUSE)

The English Grammar Profile C2 point 15 in the category of FOCUS is defined as: ‘IT’ CLEFT + ‘be’ + noun + ‘that’ clause for focus. Pearson lists this at GSE 59 B2: clauses with ‘It’ + ‘be’ … to emphasise the topic or main point. It’s the money that keeps me in this job. It was his accent that made him hard to understand. If we follow the …

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WERE IT NOT FOR

‘were it not for’ + noun phrase expresses that someone or something prevented something from happening.  For example: Were it not for the cataclysmic events which overtook them, it’s entirely possible that raptors, rather than humans,  would have become the dominant species on this planet. Listen C2 point 132 in CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: ‘Were it not for’ + noun phrase to introduce conditions in formal contexts. *The big corpora do not …

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IF IT WERE NOT FOR

In the English Grammar Profile, C2 point 125 in CLAUSES/conditional is defined as ‘If it weren’t / were not for’ + noun phrase to introduce conditions in formal contexts. past simple For example: And none of us would be here if it weren’t for you. Listen iWeb doesn’t allow a search for **** to the right even on a premium licence. 1 IF …

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‘It is said that …’ (IT + passive)

Let’s take a look at an IELTS writing task 2 example with this grammar: It is argued that volunteering should be made a part of the school curriculum. In the above example, ‘is argued‘ forms the passive part.  The active form of this is probably: ‘People argue that…” In our example, ‘people’ is not important or maybe we don’t know who …

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