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Work/Life English

D-11.01 Use & Compare the “Filler” IT for Weather, Time & Distance

D-11.01 Use & Compare the “Filler” IT for Weather, Time & Distance

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Unit 13 of the Original Scenario, Volume Two: English Grammar in Context: the Filler It  (“The World”), pages 164-174

11 pages

Who It’s For: (Self) Teachers & Helpers at Intermediate to Advanced Proficiency Levels Who Enjoy Varying Sentence Structures for Precision, Style, & Sound  

Why It’s Useful: Among the many subtopics that may or may not appear in lessons aiming at verb-tense (time frame) mastery are sentences with “the Filler It,” sometimes compared or contrasted with structures containing “the Filler There.” Instead of being utilized as pronouns or adverbs, in many (“existential”) sentences these two common words function as “fillers,” “expletives” (unnecessary elements), or “dummy, empty, delaying subjects” without clearly definable “lexical meaning.”

One of the more typical uses of the filler it is in statements or questions pertaining to weather (Examples: It gets dark early. It isn’t raining. Did it snow last night?); time (What time is it? It was 2020, wasn’t it?); and distance (How far is it from Earth to the Moon? It will take a long time to get there.) In old-fashioned linear fashion, Unit 13 of the earliest Scenario: English Grammar in Context covers these structures in context, comparing them with the previously mastered “expletive” there + form of be.   

What You’ll Do: 

[1] Cooperatively on page 164, read aloud the “speech” of people “around the World.”  Realizing that they’re not sentence subjects, recognize instances of the fillers it & therein all three time frames.  Looking back at the Scenario if it helps, complete Comprehension Sections 1a-1d, noting the sentence positions and functions of the “filler” words.  Do the same with Explanation 2. The “Filler” IT; 3. Weather; 3b. The “Filler” IT vs. THERE: Weather; and 4. The “Filler” IT: Time & Distance—as well as with the guided practice separating the Grammar Boxes on pages 165-173                                                                        
[2] In the “Talking It Over” and “Putting It Together” activities that end the Chapter, use the most appropriate sentence patterns to tell what you know—and learn what you need—about places in the world, distances, times, weather, and other features of location.  To improve the effectiveness of your speech and writing, vary your use of sentences with and without filler words. 

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