Discussion:
What does the *it* refer to?
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a***@gmail.com
2018-08-07 07:15:59 UTC
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Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.


It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have learned to live and
play by human rules, but it’s much harder to live together with the majority of
animal species who don’t. Those of us who live in wealthy countries make up a
small fraction of the world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live with an amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take this
for granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory, when humans make
conservation and environmental decisions regarding nature, most people agree that animals must be factored in; they are part of the equation. Yet, when
profits are compromised or people’s lives are affected or threatened, the
welfare of our fellow animals seems to count for nothing.


Cordially,

LP
David Kleinecke
2018-08-07 08:03:43 UTC
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Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have learned to live and
play by human rules, but it’s much harder to live together with the majority of
animal species who don’t. Those of us who live in wealthy countries make up a
small fraction of the world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live with an amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take this
for granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory, when humans make
conservation and environmental decisions regarding nature, most people agree that animals must be factored in; they are part of the equation. Yet, when
profits are compromised or people’s lives are affected or threatened, the
welfare of our fellow animals seems to count for nothing.
"Those of us who live in wealthy countries ... live
with an amazing array of animals and plants."

In general these very abstract "it"s refer to the whatever
has just previously been stated.
CDB
2018-08-07 15:48:50 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have
learned to live and play by human rules, but it’s much harder to
live together with the majority of animal species who don’t. Those
of us who live in wealthy countries make up a small fraction of the
world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live with an
amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take this for
granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory, when humans
make conservation and environmental decisions regarding nature,
most people agree that animals must be factored in; they are part
of the equation. Yet, when profits are compromised or people’s
lives are affected or threatened, the welfare of our fellow animals
seems to count for nothing.
"Those of us who live in wealthy countries ... live with an amazing
array of animals and plants."
In general these very abstract "it"s refer to the whatever has just
previously been stated.
True. I suppose that, strictly speaking, "it" refers to "this", and
"this" refers to the statement.
a***@gmail.com
2018-08-07 08:17:12 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have learned to live and
play by human rules, but it’s much harder to live together with the majority of
animal species who don’t. Those of us who live in wealthy countries make up a
small fraction of the world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live with an amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take this
for granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory, when humans make
conservation and environmental decisions regarding nature, most people agree that animals must be factored in; they are part of the equation. Yet, when
profits are compromised or people’s lives are affected or threatened, the
welfare of our fellow animals seems to count for nothing.
Cordially,
LP
I wonder if "it" and the preceding "this" in " "We should never take this for granted" refer to the same.

LP
Jerry Friedman
2018-08-07 13:32:08 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have learned to live and
play by human rules, but it’s much harder to live together with the majority of
animal species who don’t. Those of us who live in wealthy countries make up a
small fraction of the world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live with an amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take this
for granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory, when humans make
conservation and environmental decisions regarding nature, most people agree that animals must be factored in; they are part of the equation. Yet, when
profits are compromised or people’s lives are affected or threatened, the
welfare of our fellow animals seems to count for nothing.
Cordially,
LP
I wonder if "it" and the preceding "this" in " "We should never take this for granted" refer to the same.
Sort of. I don't think it's very good writing. If you want to get
really technical, "this" stands for the array of animals and plants that
we live with or the fact that we live with them. "It" means something
like our living conditions. But as David Kleinecke said, they both just
refer vaguely to what the writer is writing about, namely biodiversity.

To answer your next question, I'd like "the case" better than "so". You
could say "We should never take it for granted that we live with an
amazing array of animals and plants" and "It may not always be the case
that we live etc." Then "this" and "it" would refer to the same thing.

However, I'd write the whole thing differently. Maybe "We should never
take this diversity for granted, because we may not always have it."
--
Jerry Friedman
Quinn C
2018-08-07 17:55:33 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have
learned to live and play by human rules, but it’s much harder to
live together with the majority of animal species who don’t.
Those of us who live in wealthy countries make up a small fraction
of the world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live
with an amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take
this for granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory,
when humans make conservation and environmental decisions
regarding nature, most people agree that animals must be factored
in; they are part of the equation. Yet, when profits are
compromised or people’s lives are affected or threatened, the
welfare of our fellow animals seems to count for nothing.
I wonder if "it" and the preceding "this" in " "We should never take
this for granted" refer to the same.
Sort of. I don't think it's very good writing. If you want to get
really technical, "this" stands for the array of animals and plants that
we live with or the fact that we live with them.
I say it has to be the fact, because to refer to the animals and
plants, you'd have to use "them".

If your parents are still alive, you're lucky; don't take them for
granted. -> them = the parents

If your parents are still alive, you're lucky; don't take this for
granted. -> this - the fact the parents are alive
Post by Jerry Friedman
"It" means something
like our living conditions. But as David Kleinecke said, they both just
refer vaguely to what the writer is writing about, namely biodiversity.
"It" is part of "it is so", therefore I say it vaguely refers to any
circumstances under discussion. In some cases, it could be the state of
the universe; here, the conditions mentioned before.
Post by Jerry Friedman
However, I'd write the whole thing differently. Maybe "We should never
take this diversity for granted, because we may not always have it."
I like that because it's more concrete.
--
If you kill one person, you go to jail; if you kill 20, you go
to an institution for the insane; if you kill 20,000, you get
political asylum. -- Reed Brody, special counsel
for prosecutions at Human Rights Watch
b***@aol.com
2018-08-08 07:57:50 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have learned to live and
play by human rules, but it’s much harder to live together with the majority of
animal species who don’t. Those of us who live in wealthy countries make up a
small fraction of the world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live with an amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take this
for granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory, when humans make
conservation and environmental decisions regarding nature, most people agree that animals must be factored in; they are part of the equation. Yet, when
profits are compromised or people’s lives are affected or threatened, the
welfare of our fellow animals seems to count for nothing.
Cordially,
LP
I wonder if "it" and the preceding "this" in " "We should never take this for granted" refer to the same.
Yes, referring anaphorically to "this" as "it" is regular usage.

"We should never take this for granted because *this* may not always be so"
would sound awkward.
Post by a***@gmail.com
LP
a***@gmail.com
2018-08-07 08:19:05 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have learned to live and
play by human rules, but it’s much harder to live together with the majority of
animal species who don’t. Those of us who live in wealthy countries make up a
small fraction of the world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live with an amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take this
for granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory, when humans make
conservation and environmental decisions regarding nature, most people agree that animals must be factored in; they are part of the equation. Yet, when
profits are compromised or people’s lives are affected or threatened, the
welfare of our fellow animals seems to count for nothing.
Cordially,
LP
Is it possible to use "the case" instead of "so", like "it may not always be the case"

LP
CDB
2018-08-07 15:49:01 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Hi, I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage
refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have
learned to live and play by human rules, but it’s much harder to
live together with the majority of animal species who don’t. Those
of us who live in wealthy countries make up a small fraction of the
world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live with an
amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take this for
granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory, when humans
make conservation and environmental decisions regarding nature,
most people agree that animals must be factored in; they are part
of the equation. Yet, when profits are compromised or people’s
lives are affected or threatened, the welfare of our fellow animals
seems to count for nothing.
LP
Is it possible to use "the case" instead of "so", like "it may not always be the case"
Yes, but the phrase is bureaucratese; I think it makes the sentence seem
clumsy. A better substitute would be "true".
Peter T. Daniels
2018-08-07 11:59:02 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have learned to live and
play by human rules, but it’s much harder to live together with the majority of
animal species who don’t. Those of us who live in wealthy countries make up a
small fraction of the world’s population, and we are incredibly fortunate to live with an amazing array of animals and plants. We should never take this
for granted because *it* may not always be so. In theory, when humans make
conservation and environmental decisions regarding nature, most people agree that animals must be factored in; they are part of the equation. Yet, when
profits are compromised or people’s lives are affected or threatened, the
welfare of our fellow animals seems to count for nothing.
either living with an amazing array of animals and plants,
or (possibly) being incredibly fortunate to live that way.
Colonel Edmund J. Burke
2018-08-08 17:17:08 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Hi,I would like to know what the *it* in the following passage refer to.
It’s very easy for humans to love domestic animals, who have learned to live and
play by human rules, but it’s much harder to live together with the majority of
animal species who don’t.
"Well, of course I know what 'it' means," the Lory angrily replied. "In my case it's generally a frog or a worm."
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