I've just written some sentences and it seems to me that the usage of "it" is kinda strange or even wrong in them. Are they wrong? How can I say it in a correct way?

I assumed it were the humans that had wounded him before.

"I realized that it was Hazen, the killer brutal animal that had made her suffer and had taken dad from us.

Please note that before this sentence, I've used the pronoun "he" for Hazen although he is an animal. So mentioning Hazen as "it" doesn't look good enough. Is it correct to say so even though we know that Hazen is a "he"?

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    The use of the dummy subject it is fine. Other things in the writing do seem strange, though. "Assumed it were humans"? "The killer brutal animal"? – Robusto Sep 4 '15 at 1:21

Indeed your use of "it" is fine. Also assuming I under stand your sentence, you've got the order wrong on the cumulative adjectives. It should be the "brutal killer animal", not the "killer brutal animal".

If you still feel you don't like the 'it's, you could rephrase:

I assumed the humans were the ones that had wounded him before."

I realized that Hazen was the brutal killer animal that had made her suffer and had taken dad from us.

Also, assuming Hazen is the "brutal killer animal" there should be a comma before 'that'.

Yes, I hear the cries: "Noooo! Never comma before that". The rule says you should never set off important clauses, and clauses beginning with 'that' are always important. However, seeing as "the brutal killer animal" is the same as 'Hazen' and thus must be set off, by leaving out the comma before 'that' we are in fact setting off the 'that' clause, thereby making the very mistake we were trying to avoid.

Thus, in conclusion the sentence should read: "I realised it was Hazan, the brutal killer animal, that had made her suffer…"

  • Thank you very much. I still can't understand what is wrong with the order. I mean, both killer and brutal belong to "Opinion/value" section of order of adjectives. So what makes "brutal killer animal" smoother than the other one? – F. Walker Sep 4 '15 at 1:52
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    It does depend on what you meant. "killer" as an adjective means "big" or "bad ass", where as "killer" as a noun means "deadly". Thus about a brutal animal that is "bad ass", indeed you could write "killer, brutal animal", on the other hand if you meant an animal that is brutal and deadly, you would write "brutal killer animal". There is in fact a third option: If you meant an animal that is a "brutal killer" you would write "brutal-killer animal". Choices, choices... :) – Born2Smile Sep 4 '15 at 2:06
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    I forgot to mention the reason for the order: If killer is a noun, "killer" and "animal" join in a compound noun and should stand together. Thus the killer (n) can only be on the right, and consequently killer (adj) is placed on the left to avoid ambiguity. – Born2Smile Sep 4 '15 at 2:14

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