English as a Second Language/Too

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Question
Dear Shannon,

Why is "it is too hot a day to work" correct, whereas "It is too hot weather" is incorrect? really I don't know. The Longman dictionary does not tell the reason.

Thanks & best regards,
Antoine Ghannoum

Answer
Sometimes "it" doesn't have a proper antecedent.

You can say "It is too hot (of) a day to work." (or "It is too hot today to work.")
but
You can't say "It is too hot weather today to work."

We also can't say, "It is too hot weather."
Instead...
You can say, "It is too hot."
or
"The weather is too hot."


The assumption with using "it" with no antecedent is that we're going into the deep structure of the language with the word "weather" (which is the actual thing causing the heat).  Once you include "weather" in the sentence, it should be used as the subject.  Without using the word "weather" directly in the sentence, we are forced to use the antecendent-less "it" to show that in the language's deep structure, we are assuming that by using "it," we are talking about the weather.

See: http://russianmentor.net/casegram/part2.htm

English as a Second Language

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Shannon Cole

Expertise

I can answer questions related to learning the English and Spanish language.

Experience

I have taught ESL and Spanish since 1998 at the university and middle school levels. I am a native of the U.S., and have taught in both the U.S. and Mexico.

Organizations
I am owner and operator of www.coleinstitute.com, an online language school.

Publications
Georgia TESOL in Action (1999)

Education/Credentials
B.A. in Spanish; M.Ed. in Language Education

Past/Present Clients
I have clients worldwide, some who want their documents proofread, and others who take lessons with me through the Internet. Some work at high-profile companies and government organizations. Besides the U.S. and Mexico, my recent students come from South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Colombia, Russia, Italy, Paraguay, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.

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