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Are the two sentences below gramatically correct? Do they have the same meaning?

1. "It is good to know driving"
2. "Driving is good to know"

If they have the same meaning, can both of them be used in formal English?

The two sentences I have picked may be too simple. If instead of the word "driving" a longer version is required to be used, for example, "driving the cars that have manual transmission", which one is preferred in formal and informal English"?

1. It is good to know driving the cars that have manual transmission.
2. Driving the cars that have manual transmission is good to know.
Comments  
1. It is good to know driving. X
2. Driving is good to know. X
3. It is good to know how to drive.
4. How to drive is good to know. X.

Of all these sentences, only 3 is used and it is fine for formal or informal situations.

Again, it is used for longer versions.
'It is good to know how to drive manual cars' or 'It is good to know how to drive a manual car'. (I think everyone understands what is meant by a manual car or an automatic car and it is not necessary to extend to 'cars that have manual/automatic transmission').

There could be circumstances where your 'good to know + verb' will work, I will ask others to give their opinions.
Additionally,

It's important to know how to drive a car that has manual transmission.
To know how to drive a car that has manual transmission is important.
Knowing how to drive a car that has manual transmission is important.

"important" is a synonym for "good". Note, "to know" is part of "how to drive. . .". They go together.
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Thank you very much for your replies.

May be I haven't chosen a good example for what I intended to ask.

I was wondering what the grammatical basis for "It" in the sentences such as "It is good to", "It is hard to" or generally "It is [adj] to".

When the part of the sentence after the "It is [adj] to" gets longer and have, may be, several clauses, the meaning of the sentence seems to be confusing.

One of my firends, a native English speaker, told me that it would have been wrong to start the sentences with "It is [adj] to ......" in formal writings. Still, I find it confusing, because I always hear and read such senctences, but mostly short such as "It is good to know sthg." And still, I couldn't find it in a grammar book, saying that it is Ok and defining the word "it" in those sentences.

I appreciate your help very much.
Best wishes...
It's important to know how to drive a car that has A manual transmission.
To know how to drive a car that has A manual transmission is important.
Knowing how to drive a car that has A manual transmission is important.

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A wee tiny point. In all three sentences, 'manual transmission' needs the article 'a'.
Hello Guest,

"It" in that context is called prep it, which is short for "preparatory it", so called because it's said to allow the speaker and/or listener time to prepare for what's going to be said. In linguistics, though, "It" is called an expletive (X-ple-tiv) or dummy subject. There's this grammatical contraint in English where every sentence must have a subject, be it overt (seen/heard) or covert (underlying), so if a subject is missing, "It" is added.

With dummy "It", there is no referent or antecedent. "It" refers to nothing at all. It lacks semantic context; It means nothing. It simply fills a slot required by the grammar. For example,

It is important that you study.

"It" functions as the grammatical subject, but the true subject, or semantic subject is "that you study":

It is important that you study.
That you study is important.

Other examples include,

It is necessary. . .
It is good . . .
It is common. . . (and more)

Notice the words 'necessary', 'good', and 'common' function as adjectives. To find out the true subject ask, What is important? What is good? What is common?

It is necessary that you call me.
What is necessary?
That you call me is necessary.

Consider also,

It is Max that I love.
*That I love is Max.
The person that I love is Max.

If it's a noun (e.g., "Max"), then the noun is added to head the true subject:

It is Max that I love => The person that I love is Max.

Lastly, dummy "It" requires a sentential subject. That's a subject followed by a verb:

It is important that we study French.
That we study French is important.

These days, though, speakers are using dummy "It" with non-sentential or covert subjects:

It is important to study French.
To study French is important.

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Thank you very much, Casi.
Now, I see it clearly.

Many thanks for all replies...
I was wondering what the grammatical basis for "It" in the sentences such as "It is good to", "It is hard to" or generally "It is [adj] to".


The word 'it' in your examples is what is known as the expletive. It is abit difficult to truly explain what it means because it really doesn't mean anything. It's just there as a filler for the subject position.

There are two expletives in English, 'it' and 'there'. Take a look at these examples:

1) It is raining
2) There were people at the party

In 1), 'it' doesn't really refer to anything. Of course some might argue that it refers to the weather, or the state of sky or whatever. But the general take on it is that it is semantically empty. In 2) 'there' doesn't refer to anything really concrete as well. So for simplicity, it's good to just think that the expletive is there because nothing else really fits in.

Now consider:

3) The dog jumped on me and it bit me

Here, 'it' is not expletives. It is what is traditionally known as ananaphor. It basically refers back to something that was already mentioned before: so in 3) 'it' refers to 'the dog'.

4) People were drunk at the party and were lying there.

'There' here is also not an expletive. It has a meaning, one of location. You can imagine it as if the person saying this sentence was pointing to a particular place: 'there' is referenced to a location.

Hope this helpsEmotion: smile