the word “economies” is plural, why use "it"here? FOR the American and British economies it has been a long road out of the woods, but the journey is nearing its end.
Nov 30, 2016 8:12 AM
Answers · 5
"It" in this case is the subject of "has been", a singular verb that refers to a singular thing, "a long road", thus it's a perfect construction from a grammatical point of view. "It" here is called "anticipatory subject": it's a sort of "fictious" subject used in this kind of construction. If you note, from the point of view of the meaning, the "logical" subject is "a long road": "a long road out of the woods has been (meaning: there has been, has existed) for the American...etc. But that would be an "ugly" construction: with "it" as an "anticipatory subject" it sounds better.
November 30, 2016
In this case, "it" refers more to "the situation". For example with, "recently, it has been difficult making a living", we use "it" to refer to "the recent situation". You will see this kind of phrase using "it" very often.
November 30, 2016
"it" doesn't refer to economies to be plural.
November 30, 2016
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