When we say "It is raining," what does the "it" refer to? Does this language quirk explain why we believe ....

... things need a creator, something to be the "it"?

Is this one reason that we have trouble seeing that the universe is constantly creating itself, i.e., that nothing is raining other than the rain itself?

(Sorry if I made your hair hurt.)

^v^ ^v^ ^v^ ^v^ ^v^ ^v^ ^v^ ^v^

17 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Actually, "it" is called a "dummy placeholder". It's one of those "understood meanings". It's a grammatical thing and has nothing to do with a creator or the sky or anything else. It's not a referential pronoun.... meaning the "it" doesn't refer to anything.

    Here is a deeper explanation. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jlawler/aue/itsrain...

  • Lydia
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I think some people refer to religion as "brainwashing" because they personally feel they have been influenced by family and society (predominately from an early age) to believe in a religion they may no longer completely believe in. Therefore, these people are left with a sense of being wrongly influenced by the very same people they trust. The term "brainwashing" is obviously a very negative term to throw around, and might be somewhat of an over-exaggeration, but people in this case are often describing the term from a personal level.

  • Kharm
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Well, I don't think the rain is raining. I think it would be more accurate to say that the sky is raining, or that the clouds are raining, or possibly that the weather is raining. (Though saying 'the weather is rainy' makes more sense.)

    But as a Pagan, I am fully aware that Nature interacts with Nature to produce its effects. There is not creator necessary.

  • To be completely honest, I never actually thought about it. I DO use the phrase "it's raining" and I suppose I mean "the local area is experiencing rainfall", or when I say "it's raining in Tokeo" I mean "the area to which I've referred is experiencing rainfall", but to say "it" is raining... that IS strange.

    Thank you for this lesson in language awareness.

    Oh, and I'm glad the answerer above me provided that link. I've never heard of a "dummy placeholder" but that somewhat clears up the confusion.

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  • 1 decade ago

    That's an interesting thought...but anybody bilingual knows how strange the english language is and the many contradictions it has. Besides, the belief in God has been around far longer than grammar.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    "It" as it's used in your sentence refers to the weather, the day's atmosphere, the outside conditions, etc.

    I think you're barking here.... We (atheists) don't have trouble seeing the truth of the universe or that of our human condition of aloneness.... They (the God-believers) do.

    The truth is the truth and some people's kids just aren't honest enough to say so... There is no God and there never has been a God.

    http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb62/Randall_Fl...

    [][][] r u randy? [][][]

    .

    Give best to: vle045... Thanks for the language lesson.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think that the "it" in the sentence "it is raining" refers to the thing that is raining, thus i deduce that the "it" is actually the sky.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's idiomatic, and German uses a similar idiom (Es regnet). Russian uses a different idiom (идет дождь, pronounced eedyawt dawzhd), which, literally translated means "(it) goes rain."

    When you would say in English, "There are two paths ..." German would translate "there are" as "es sind," meaning literally "it are"!

    What was your question again?

  • chieko
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    i don't think's it's all that deep. if we say it's raining, we mean the weather...nothing mystical about that...

    now if we say, God is crying, then that's more creator language...

    Source(s): my hair is just fine, thank you...
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What about when we say "It's raining men"? Probably the same phenomenon.

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