American English

Definition of it pronoun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(used as the subject or object of a verb or after a preposition)
  2. 2used to refer to an animal or a thing that has already been mentioned or that is being talked about now “Where's your car?” “It's in the garage.” Did you see it? Start a new file and put this letter in it. Look! It's going up that tree. We have $500. Will it be enough for a deposit?
  3. 3used to refer to a baby, especially one whose sex is not known Her baby's due next month. She hopes it will be a boy.
  4. 4used to refer to a fact or situation that is already known or happening When the factory closes, it will mean 500 people losing their jobs. Yes, I was at home on Sunday. What about it? (= Why do you ask?) Stop it, you're hurting me!
  5. 5used to identify a person It's your mother on the phone. Hello, Peter, it's Mike here. Hi, it's me! Was it you who put these books on my desk?
  6. 6used in the position of the subject or object of a verb when the real subject or object is at the end of the sentence Does it matter what color it is? It's impossible to get there in time. It's no use shouting. She finds it boring at home. It appears that the two leaders are holding secret talks. I find it strange that she doesn't want to go.
  7. 7used in the position of the subject of a verb when you are talking about time, the date, distance, the weather, etc. It's ten after twelve. It's our anniversary. It's two miles to the beach. It's a long time since they left. It was raining this morning. It's quite warm at the moment.
  8. 8used when you are talking about a situation If it's convenient I can come tomorrow. It's good to talk. I like it here.
  9. 9used to emphasize any part of a sentence It's Jim who's the smart one. It's Spain that they're going to, not Portugal. It was three weeks later that he heard the news.
  10. 10exactly what is needed In this business, either you've got it or you don't. see also its
  11. Idioms
    1. 1this/that is the important point, reason, etc. That's just it—I can't work when you're making so much noise.
    2. 2this/that is the end I'm afraid that's it—we've lost.
    1. 1the expected event is just going to happen Well, this is it! Wish me luck.
    2. 2this is the main point “You're doing too much.” “Well, this is it. I can't cope with any more work.”
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: it