Usage of It's: Who did that? - It's my brother.

What do you think about the use of “it” in these sentences? Is it wrong or impolite to use ‘it’ to refer to people? and should “that” be used instead?

1/ Who did that?

  • It’s my brother

2/ Who is that?

  • It’s my brother

Many thanks

For me, in 1 - My brother (did) would sound better. Or That was my brother (who did that).

I think for the first one, it would be better not to use the contraction “It’s”, instead, use “It was”. Or you can just say “My brother”.

For the second one, I think “it’s” is fine.

(That - wrong?) It was my brother (who did that).

Hi Inga

No, using the word that is also possible. I was responding to Nessie’s specific question. She wanted to know whether the word thatshould be used” instead of the word it. It is not a problem to use the word it in the context Nessie gave.

Thanks a lot, everybody :slight_smile:

Hi Amy,
Do you mean there are other cases where the use of “it” to refer to people is impolite?

Of course there are. For example, the following would be impolite and/or just plain weird:

  • Sally lives next door. *[color=red]It is a teacher.

Yea, that surely sounds very impolite, but it’s too obvious, could you please give me another example?

Thank you in advance.

Nessie, from TV I usually hear not so very expecting mother refers to the child inside her as “it”. I find that disturbing. But some people are okay with it.

Thanks a lot, siCantikManis :slight_smile:
By the way could you please tell me about your use of “not so very” (I wonder about the use of “so very” - usually I just hear people say “not very…” or “not so…”, but I’ve never heard anyone say “not so very…”) (except one time when Amy used it, I asked her but I’ve forgot the answer :P)

Many thanks in advance.

I am not good at grammars, let alone at explaining it, but I’d try.

I think the use of “not so very” is not very grammatical in written English because maybe it sounds like you are saying “very” twice (not very very, weird right?), but I think in spoken English people say it to put more stress.

To some I guess it is redundant.

Maybe others can give better and correct explanation. :slight_smile:

Please accept my profuse apologies for writing something that was “too obvious” an answer for the question you asked. :frowning: