Saturday, August 27, 2011


it + passive
In formal writing it is quite common to begin a sentence with it followed by the passive form of the verb. For example:
It is felt that a person propelling a motorcycle with his legs astride the cycle and his feet on the ground by ‘paddling’ it, would be driving.
The sentence is taken from a legal text, so it needs to be precise. ‘It is felt’ is imprecise because it is unclear who it refers to. (And felt is rather a vague term.) Better to say:
If someone sits astride a motor cycle and uses their feet to ‘paddle’ it along the ground, then, in law, they are driving.
See also active or passive?
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