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Writing Tip #9 - How to avoid writing "it"

Writing Tip #9 - Avoiding “it”

We have a tendency to write the way we speak. One of the dangers of this (which is considered sloppy practice by educators and scholars) is the misuse of the word “it.” The misdeed can come at the beginning or later in a sentence.

For example: “It is simple to download an app onto an iPhone.” If you thought that sentence was perfectly okay, you were mistaken! To what does “it” refer? A better way to word the idea is: “Downloading an app onto an iPhone is simple.”

The same blunder can be made later in a sentence: “The dog likes it when you scratch behind his ears.” The word “it” is not needed here. A way to correct this sentence is: “The dog likes to be scratched behind his ears.”   

If the subject is already known, the use of the word “it” as a pronoun is acceptable. For example: “The new car was green. It was also very expensive.” The subject is understood in the second sentence.

Check your writing. If it includes rogue “its,” remove them.


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Published on by bcalvano.