The word ‘IT’ in English is often used as the subject or object
at the beginning of the sentence.
We call this the Preparatory IT.
Preparatory (pronounced: pre-p’a-ra-to-ri) is an adjective which means:
introductory, preliminary, previous, before.
With an infinitive or with the ‘ing’ form of the verb.
- It’s a good idea to do the exercises. – Doing the exercises is a good idea.
- It is important to be on time. – Being on time is important.
- It is difficult driving in the fog. – Driving in the fog is difficult.
- It’s good seeing you again. – Seeing you again makes me feel good.
When to use the preparatory IT
- Use with times, dates, weather, measurements, distances etc:
- The time of day – It’s midnight (the time / hour is midnight)
- The day of the week – It’s Monday (the day is Monday)
- The month of the year – It’s January (the month is January)
- The weather – It’s raining (the rain is falling)
- The temperature – It’s cold (the temperature is very low)
- Distance / Journey – It’s a long way / It’s an hour’s drive.
- It was nice to talk to you. (Talking to you was nice.)
- It is nice to travel at Easter. (Traveling at Easter is nice.)
- It’s necessary to do these lessons. (We must do these lessons.)
- It’s not certain that we will be able to attend the meeting.
- It’s fantastic that you are feeling so well after the accident.
- It’s amazing that I managed to pass the exam.
- It is easy to talk to John, when he’s happy.
- I thought it was silly, the way she behaved at dinner.
- My lack of money makes it difficult for me to go out often.
To sum up:
IT is often used in place of the subject or object in a sentence,
in order to make that sentence shorter and easier to understand.