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How to use anticipatory It and There

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We use it when talking about the weather, time, measures and distance: It is very cold tonight.

It functions as an anticipatory subject for:

  • an infinitive: It is nice to work with you.
  • an -ing-form: It is good seeing you.
  • a finite clause: It is astonishing that he refused the offer.

We use there plus a form of to be when in Norwegian we want to say that something exists or is. If we can replace ’det er/det var’ with ’det finnes/fantes’, we must use there is/was in English.

  • There is a snake in my garden.
  • There is a button on that machine which you can press.
  • There are many people here who can neither read nor write.