Someone just told me that writing "it makes me happy" is incorrect in its sense not in grammatical aspect because "it" is "not human" please help me, is it okay to write "it" with "happy"? I am learning English so please help me.

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, oerkelens, Chenmunka, tchrist, choster Nov 5 '14 at 22:48

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – Edwin Ashworth, oerkelens, Chenmunka, tchrist, choster
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • There's nothing wrong with that. Something can certainly make you happy. Make does not need a human agent. "The rain makes me sad" is perfectly fine English. Whoever told you this should visit English Language Learners. – oerkelens Nov 5 '14 at 10:02
  • There are two usages of the pronoun it. 'Delexical it' is a device we often use to stand in for a subject, when a true subject wouldn't sound right (It is raining) or when we wish to postpone the true subject ('It makes me happy when I see her doing so well '). Referential it is not used for persons as referents, but can be used with implied impersonal subjects: 'They are getting on so well. It [/ that] [ie the situation] makes me so happy.' But ELL is the place for basic questions, imRen. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 5 '14 at 10:17

There is nothing grammatically wrong with "It makes me happy". There are over two hundred citations for 'make/makes/made me happy' with a 'not-human' subject in the Corpus of Contemporary American English.

  • 1
    Answers to general reference questions From Meta: ‘If we accept the axiom that trivial [/basic English] questions are bad for the site, then the proper response to a general reference question is: 1.Don't answer! 2… [Vote] to close. The point is not to encourage trivial questions. If you post an answer or vote up an existing answer, you're implicitly encouraging more questions like it.’ –Martha – Edwin Ashworth Nov 5 '14 at 10:26
  • The question might perhaps have been better phrased as "Does the grammatical subject of make somebody happy have to be human?", but see this neither as a 'general reference question' nor as trivial. – tunny Nov 5 '14 at 10:36
  • You need to understand the euphemism; 'too basic for ELU' sounds rather draconian. Of course this is an important question. So is 'How do I fix a leak in my pipe?' Also, the usage/s of 'it' is/are directly specified in the title. The use of delexical it has been covered here before. If OP intends referential it here, they should provide a referent rather than leave it open to guesswork (Niyanta guesses at referential it and postulates an object as referent, but a situation would be equally possible). Perhaps 'unclear what you're asking' would have been a better close-vote reason. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 5 '14 at 10:51

the sentence is correct.. 'it' here is referring to the particular object. not the person.

  • can the respective person explain why they have down voted my post?? – Niyanta Nov 5 '14 at 10:13
  • If it was a certain person I'm thinking of, s/he often downvotes answers not using generally accepted punctuation. I think this question inappropriate for ELL, but am close-voting the question rather than down-voting answers. However, as has been said before, 'answers' should not be given to inappropriate (for ELL) questions. Hence my 'comment' above. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 5 '14 at 10:23
  • @EdwinAshworth: even if the question were appropriate for ELL, it is posted on ELU and should be appropriate here... – oerkelens Nov 5 '14 at 10:41
  • Respected experts, thank you for answering my question. I am new to stack exchange community so I posted my question here. I did not mean to rise any debate or to cost reputations to anyone here. Thank you all for showing me the correct place, ELL, to look into. – imRen Nov 5 '14 at 12:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.