how has "been said" an adj type construction, can you please elaborate?
in this instance "said" is a past participle; participles invariably function as adjectives.
however, if that's difficult to conceptualize, it doesn't really matter -- all that matters is that you recognize constructions like this as correct in the future. see below.
christina.susie.wong wrote:Can you elaborate what you mean by it is ADJ... (and related constructions) more in depth? do you mean that It can only refer back to an adjective?
what i mean is that, if you see constructions that look like one of the three examples i gave, then those constructions are exempt from the rule that "it" must stand for a noun.
in these examples, i would simply not bother trying to figure out exactly what "it" DOES stand for (and, in all honesty, i actually have no idea myself), since that issue will not help you solve the problems at hand. as with many other constructions that are exceptions to otherwise strong rules, the point is that you should be able to recognize these constructions, on sight, as legitimate
-- not that you should be able to provide an exhaustive grammatical analysis.
this is where many people studying SC go off the rails: they feel as though they have to be able to provide a completely exhaustive grammatical analysis of absolutely everything in the sentence, even complex constructions that are singular exceptions to otherwise reliable rules. not only is this almost unimaginably complex and difficult, but it's also unworkable in terms of time management; there's just no way that somebody could get through an exhaustive grammatical analysis of a fairly long sentence -- and of 5 answer choices -- and also understand the context of the sentence
in the short window of time allowed for a sentence correction problem.
remember -- if you can RELIABLY tell whether something is correct or incorrect just from its appearance, you don't need grammatical analysis.
here's an exercise:
* flip to #57 in OG12 (i can't reproduce this problem here, for copyright-related reasons).
* look at the PRONOUN "IT" in choices (a), (c), and (d) -- ignore everything else in the sentence. note that there are two instances of this pronoun in choice (c).
* for each of these instances:
- does this "it" have to stand for a noun?
- if so, is there such a noun in the sentence?
answers below -- highlight to reveal:(a)
normal pronoun -- must stand for a noun.
this is incorrect; the pronoun "it" is trying to stand for the entire notion of educators' inability to predict the impact of microcomputer technology. there's no NOUN in the sentence that conveys this idea.
first one doesn't have to stand for a noun -- "it has been said..." type construction
second one is a normal pronoun -- wrong, for the same reason explained above for (a).
doesn't have to stand for a noun -- "it has been said..." type construction
(this is actually the correct answer to the problem)