it: preparatory object

it: preparatory object

We sometimes use it as a preparatory object. This happens most often in the structures make it clear that . . . and find/make it easy/difficult to .. .
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  • 'copula1 verbs
  • 'social' language
  • (a) few and (a) little
  • (a)round and about
  • (be) used to + noun or... -ing
  • (Great) Britain, the United Kingdom, the British Isles and England
  • -ing form ('gerund')
  • -ing form after to
  • -ing form or infinitive?
  • abbreviations
  • about to
  • above and over
  • across and over
  • across and through
  • active verb forms
  • actual(ly)
  • adjectives ending in -Iy
  • adjectives without nouns
  • adjectives: order
  • adjectives: position
  • adverbs of manner
  • adverbs: position (details)
  • adverbs: position (general)
  • after (conjunction)
  • after (preposition); afterwards (adverb)
  • after all
  • afternoon, evening and night
  • ages
  • ago
  • all (of) with nouns and pronouns
  • all and every
  • all and whole
  • all right
  • all with verbs
  • all, everybody and everything
  • almost and nearly
  • also, as well and too
  • although and though
  • among and between
  • and
  • and after try, wait, go etc
  • another
  • any (= 'it doesn't matter which')
  • any and no: adverbs
  • appear
  • articles: a and an; pronunciation of the
  • articles: a/an
  • articles: countable and uncountable nouns
  • articles: introduction
  • articles: special rules and exceptions
  • articles: talking in general
  • articles: the
  • articles: the difference between a/an and the
  • as and like
  • as if and as though
  • as much/many ... as ...
  • as well as
  • as, because and since (reason)
  • as, when and while (things happening at the same time)
  • as...as ...
  • ask
  • at all
  • at, in and on (place)
  • at, in and on (time)
  • be + infinitive
  • be with auxiliary do
  • be: progressive tenses
  • because and because of
  • before (adverb)
  • before (conjunction)
  • before (preposition) and in front of
  • begin and start
  • big, large, great and tall
  • born
  • borrow and lend
  • both (of) with nouns and pronouns
  • both with verbs
  • both... and...
  • bring and take
  • British and American English
  • broad and wide
  • but = except
  • by: time
  • can and could: ability
  • can and could: forms
  • can with remember, understand, speak, play, see, hear, feel, taste and smell
  • can: permission, offers, requests and orders
  • can: possibility and probability
  • close and shut
  • come and go
  • comparison: comparative and superlative adjectives
  • comparison: comparative and superlative adverbs
  • comparison: much, far etc with comparatives
  • comparison: using comparatives and superlatives
  • conditional
  • conjunctions
  • contractions
  • countable and uncountable nouns
  • country
  • dare
  • dates
  • determiners
  • discourse markers
  • do + -ing
  • do and make
  • do: auxiliary verb
  • during and for
  • during and in
  • each and every
  • each other and one another
  • each: grammar
  • either... or...
  • either: determiner
  • ellipsis (leaving words out)
  • else
  • emphasis
  • emphatic structures with it and what
  • enjoy
  • enough
  • even
  • eventual(ly)
  • ever
  • every and every one
  • except
  • except and except for
  • exclamations
  • excuse me, pardon and sorry
  • expect, hope, look forward, wait, want and wish
  • explain
  • fairly, quite, rather and pretty
  • far and a long way
  • farther and further
  • fast
  • feel
  • fewer and less
  • for + object + infinitive
  • for, since, from, ago and before
  • for: purpose
  • future perfect
  • future progressive
  • future: introduction
  • future: present progressive and going to
  • future: shall and will (interpersonal uses)
  • future: shall/will (predictions)
  • future: simple present
  • gender (masculine and feminine language)
  • get (+ object) + verb form
  • get + noun, adjective, adverb particle or preposition
  • get and go: movement
  • go ... -ing
  • go meaning'become'
  • go: been and gone
  • had better
  • half (of)
  • hard and hardly
  • have (got) to
  • have (got): possession, relationships etc
  • have + object + verb form
  • have: actions
  • have: auxiliary verb
  • have: introduction
  • hear and listen (to)
  • help
  • here and there
  • holiday and holidays
  • home
  • hope
  • how and what... like?
  • if only
  • if so and if not
  • if-sentences with could and might
  • if: ordinary tenses
  • if: special tenses
  • ill and sick
  • imperative
  • in and into (prepositions)
  • in case
  • in spite of
  • indeed
  • infinitive after who, what, how etc
  • infinitive of purpose
  • infinitive without to
  • infinitive: negative, progressive, perfect, passive
  • infinitive: use
  • instead of... -ing
  • inversion: auxiliary verb before subject
  • inversion: whole verb before subject
  • irregular verbs
  • it's time
  • it: preparatory object
  • it: preparatory subject
  • last and the last
  • let's
  • letters
  • likely
  • long and for a long time
  • look
  • look (at), watch and see
  • marry and divorce
  • may and might: forms
  • may and might: permission
  • may and might: probability
  • mind
  • modal auxiliary verbs
  • more (of): determiner
  • most (of): determiner
  • much (of), many (of): determiners
  • much, many, a lot etc
  • must and have to; mustn't, haven't got to, don't have to, don't need to and needn't
  • must: deduction
  • must: forms
  • must: obligation
  • names and titles
  • nationality words
  • need
  • negative questions
  • negative structures
  • neither (of): determiner
  • neither, nor and not... either
  • neither... nor...
  • next and nearest
  • next and the next
  • no and none
  • no and not
  • no and not a/not any
  • no more, not any more, no longer, not any longer
  • non-progressive verbs
  • noun + noun
  • numbers
  • once
  • one and you: indefinite personal pronouns
  • one: substitute word
  • other and others
  • ought
  • own
  • participle clauses
  • participles used as adjectives
  • participles: 'present' and 'past' participles (-ing and -ed)
  • passive structures: introduction
  • passive verb forms
  • past tense with present or future meaning
  • past time: past perfect simple and progressive
  • past time: past progressive
  • past time: present perfect progressive
  • past time: present perfect simple
  • past time: simple past
  • past time: the past and perfect tenses (introduction)
  • perfect tenses with this is the first time..., etc
  • personal pronouns (I, me, it etc)
  • play and game
  • please and thank you
  • possessive with determiners (a friend of mine, etc)
  • possessive's: forms
  • possessive's: use
  • possessives: my and mine, etc
  • prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs
  • prepositions after particular words and expressions
  • prepositions and adverb particles
  • prepositions at the end of clauses
  • prepositions before particular words and expressions
  • prepositions: expressions without prepositions
  • present tenses: introduction
  • present tenses: present progressive
  • present tenses: simple present
  • progressive tenses with always
  • punctuation: apostrophe
  • punctuation: colon
  • punctuation: comma
  • punctuation: dash
  • punctuation: quotation marks
  • punctuation: semi-colons and full stops
  • question tags
  • questions: basic rules
  • questions: reply questions
  • questions: word order in spoken questions
  • quite
  • real(ly)
  • reflexive pronouns
  • relative pronouns
  • relative pronouns: what
  • relative pronouns: whose
  • relatives: identifying and non-identifying clauses
  • remind
  • reported speech and direct speech
  • reported speech: orders, requests, advice etc
  • reported speech: pronouns; 'here and now' words; tenses
  • reported speech: questions
  • requests
  • road and street
  • say and tell
  • see
  • seem
  • shall
  • short answers
  • should
  • should after why and how
  • should and would
  • should, ought and must
  • should: (If I were you) I should ...
  • similar words
  • since (conjunction of time): tenses
  • singular and plural: anybody etc
  • singular and plural: irregular plurals
  • singular and plural: plural expressions with singular verbs
  • singular and plural: pronunciation of plural nouns
  • singular and plural: singular words ending in -s
  • singular and plural: singular words with plural verbs
  • singular and plural: spelling of plural nouns
  • slow(ly)
  • small and little
  • smell
  • so am I, so do I etc
  • so and not with hope, believe etc
  • some and any
  • some/any and no article
  • some: special uses
  • somebody and anybody, something and anything, etc
  • sound
  • spelling and pronunciation
  • spelling: -ise and -ize
  • spelling: -ly
  • spelling: capital letters
  • spelling: ch and tch, k and ck
  • spelling: doubling final consonants
  • spelling: final -e
  • spelling: full stops with abbreviations
  • spelling: hyphens
  • spelling: ie and ei
  • spelling: y and i
  • still, yet and already
  • subject and object forms
  • subjunctive
  • such and so
  • suggest
  • surely
  • sympathetic
  • take
  • take (time)
  • tall and high
  • taste
  • telephoning
  • telling the time
  • tenses in subordinate clauses
  • that: omission
  • the same
  • there is
  • think
  • this and that
  • too
  • travel, journey and trip
  • unless and if not
  • until and by
  • until and to
  • used to + infinitive
  • verbs with object complements
  • verbs with two objects
  • way
  • weak and strong forms
  • well
  • when and if
  • whether and if
  • whether... or...
  • which, what and who: question words
  • who ever, what ever, how ever etc
  • whoever, whatever, whichever, however, whenever and wherever
  • will
  • wish
  • worth ... -ing
  • would
  • would rather
  • My Account / Test History


    World Architecture

    St Peters Basilica

    Vatican City, Italy
    St. Peters Basilica is the central place of the Roman Catholic Church. From its inception, it took 225 years to complete. No fewer than sixteen architects were responsible for it, under the patronage of twenty-two popes. Nevertheless, the great building presents a degree of integrity, of harmony (perhaps helped by the mellowing passage of the centuries) that might seem improbable given its heterogeneous and sometimes philosophically conflicting sources; that ultimate unity of form and detail is in itself no small architectural feat. In a.d 323, the first Christian Roman, emperor, Constantine the Great (died 337), commissioned a magnificent basilica on the Vatican Hill, south of the River Tiber. It was built with difficulty on the sloping site, its altar supposedly above the spot where St. Peter was believed to have been buried around a.d. 64, and dedicated to him. Twelve centuries passed from the building of Constantines basilica to the first phase of its demolition. Between 1309 and 1377, for political reasons, the papal residence was at Avignon, France. Rome became derelict; according to some sources, packs of wolves roamed the streets. Its churches were neglected, and the old St. Peters descended into decay, its walls leaning and its frescoes encrusted with dust and grime. With the popes again in residence, around the middle of the fifteenth century Rome succeeded Florence as the center of the Italian Renaissance, and in 1452 Pope Nicholas V (reigned 1447 1455) commissioned the architect Bernardo Rossellino (1409 1464) to build a new apse for St. Peters west of the old one. Rossellino, who had already restored the church of San Francesco, Assisi, and many other buildings in Italy, proposed to surround the choir and transept, continuing the elongated Latin-cross plan. But only the tribune and foundations had been built when Nicholas V died and work stopped. Pope Paul II (1464 1471) passed the project to Giuliano da Sangallo in 1470, but none of the subsequent three popes pursued it. Early in 1505 the warrior-pope Julius II (1505 1513) was considering what form his own tomb might take. The sculptor Michelangelo Buonarotti designed an imposing monument, but it called for an appropriate setting. Julius decided to rebuild St. Peters, and late in 1505, a competition was held for the design. The winner was Donato Bramante, who, inspired by the ancient Pantheon in Rome, proposed a Greek cross (all of the arms of which are equal), with towers at the corners and a central dome raised on a drum. Julius laid the foundation stone on 18 April 1506. Despite the theological and esthetic arguments for a centrally planned church, the Greek cross was impractical for the Roman liturgy and thus unacceptable to the clergy. Bramante lengthened one arm to form the traditional Latin cross. Much of Julius IIs money was diverted to wars with the French, and when his architect died in 1514, only the four main piers of St. Peters were completed. They determined all further developments. Juliuss successor, the Borgia Leo X (1513 1521), commissioned Rafaello da Urbino, assisted by Giuliano da Sangallo and Fra Giocondo da Verona. The latter two modified Bramantes plan to a slightly elongated central nave with three aisles on either side. They died in 1516 and 1515, respectively, and Rafaello simplified their plan, seemingly to little effect. After his death in 1520 the new architects, Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, Baldassarre Peruzzi, and Andrea Sansovino, without fixed plans and [attempting] all manner of experiments,

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