View Full Version : What is the 'it' in "It's raining" ??

10-15-2010, 04:08 PM

10-15-2010, 04:25 PM
It rained
It snowed
It hailed
It's windy in Chicago

Who or what is windy in Chicago?

10-15-2010, 06:47 PM
Is this one of those metaphorical questions?

10-15-2010, 07:17 PM
no, I really want to know what people are referring to when they say "it is raining" what/who is doing this raining? Likewise if someone says "it is windy in chicago" what is the 'it' that is windy in chicago?

10-16-2010, 11:12 AM
Enquiring minds want to know! :snack:

Arsenal WV
10-16-2010, 02:30 PM
You're either on Arsenal level drunk when asking a question like that or just a really deep thinker. I'd like to think you are just really drunk though.

10-16-2010, 04:28 PM
"it" as in:

"What is it like outside?"
"It's raining."

"It" would refer to the weather.

... Or, if you're Adam Pacman Jones - "it" could mean loot. As in, "I'm a giant douche who makes it rain on strippers, then tries to take my money back."

10-16-2010, 04:54 PM
So than

It's raining = Weather's raining
It snowed = Weather snowed
It rained = Weather rained
It hailed = Weather hailed

you sure about that bumpy?

10-16-2010, 05:15 PM
Nah. Refering to, not literally substituted for.

10-16-2010, 05:57 PM
But that's what "it" is, nothing more than a placeholder for another word (noun)

therefor you would have to be able to literally substitute "it" for whichever noun you say is preforming this raining.

10-18-2010, 09:14 AM
I want to know where "Its" gets its Cats and Dogs when all hell breaks loose.

> When we say, "It's raining," to what does "it" refer?
Let me guess. Some teacher in grade school taught you that all pronouns must have an antecedent, and you can't figure out how there can be an antecedent in It's raining.

Well, you're right. You can't find an antecedent in It's raining. What Miss Fidditch should have told you is that referential pronouns have to have an antecedent. But not all pronoun usage is referential. Pronouns are not always atomic, meaningful words like book and keep; quite often they're ionized for use as pieces of grammar, like the -er or the -s in bookkeepers.

All the common contractions with subject it are really grammar markings:

it's [meaning 'it is'] Progressive or Passive
[meaning 'it has'] Perfect
it'd [meaning 'it would'] Conditional
[meaning 'it had'] Pluperfect
it'll [meaning 'it will'] Future

10-18-2010, 12:40 PM
Mystery solved

now, someone tell me what the which than which there is no whicher is