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a demonstrative pronoun

Definition of English dictionary

that : used to refer to a person, thing, idea etc that has already been mentioned or is already known about

it : used to refer to a thing, animal, situation, idea etc that has already been mentioned or is already known about

finally, "that = "it" ??????

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    "That" does not equal "it."

    "That" is a demonstrative pronoun.

    "It" is a pronoun.

    Those are two different types of pronouns.

    Because both of them are pronouns, they both can refer back to something previously stated. But that does not mean that "that" equals "it."

    Here is an extract from 'Michael Swan. Practical English Usage. Third Edition', 590

    1 referring back
    This, that and it can all be used to refer back to things or situations that have
    just been talked or written about. It does not give any special emphasis.
    So she decided to paint her house pink. It upset the neighbours a bit.
    This and that are more emphatic; they 'shine a light', so to speak, on the things
    or situations, suggesting 'an interesting new fact has been mentioned'.
    So she decided to paint her house pink. This/That really upset the
    neighbours, as you can imagine.
    This is preferred when there is more to say about the new subject of
    discussion.
    So she decided to paint her house pink. This upset the neighbours so much
    that they took her to court, believe it or not. The case came up last week ...
    Then in 1917 he met Andrew Leuiis, This was a turning point in his career:
    the two men entered into a partnership which lasted until 1946, and ...
    (More natural than ... That was a turning point ... )

    2 more than one thing
    When more than one thing has been mentioned, it generally refers to the main
    subject of discussion; this and that generally refer to a new subject that has
    been introduced (often the last thing mentioned). Compare:
    - We keep the ice-cream machine in the spare room. It is mainly used by the
    children, incidentally. (The machine is used by the children.)
    We keep the ice-cream machine in the spare room. This/That is mainly used
    by the children, incidentally. (The spare room is used by the children.)
    - I was carrying the computer to my office when I dropped it on the kitchen
    table. It was badly damaged. (The computer was damaged.)
    I was carrying the computer to my office when I dropped it on the kitchen
    table. This was badly damaged. (The table was damaged.)

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