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Can you explain to me when it is more appropriate to use it or one in the following sentence?

One/it should warn about the conflicts.

I don't think there's a big deal using one or another because the meaning will be exactly the same.

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno, MετάEd, Matt E. Эллен, StoneyB Sep 22 '12 at 13:44

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

There are very few contexts where "one" and "it" are interchangeable. – Colin Fine Jul 2 '12 at 20:43
You might be interested in supporting our proposed spin-off site targeted specifically at English language learners. – RegDwigнt Jul 2 '12 at 21:26
I think neither this question can be tagged with [usage] nor its title can be "Usage: One vs it", nor it is possible to base a comparison ("vs") between the two pronoun. @RegDwight – user19148 Jul 2 '12 at 21:26
What Colin said. I think there are no contexts where "one" and "it" are interchangeable as subjects of "should warn". This question is General Reference. – FumbleFingers Jul 2 '12 at 23:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The meaning is not exactly the same. One used as a pronoun indicates an unspecified single person, whereas it indicates a specific object or collective.

It's hard to tell exactly what the context is here with such a short quote, but

One should warn about the conflicts.

means that someone should warn others about the conflicts.

It should warn about the conflicts.

means that a device or software program, or perhaps office or organization, which was previously being discussed, should warn about the conflicts.

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"One" should be used exclusively to refer to people (or people-like things - pets, etc). "It" should never be used to refer to people.

Caveat: "One" can refer to non-people-like things in cases like, "One should warn about conflicts and the other should do something else".

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