Hi,

I often see the sentences that begin with "it turned out that" like:

It turned out that Agent Samson was something along the lines of a circuit-court speech therapist.

Should I consider that this "it" actually has a practical meaning? Or, that this is more like a dummy-it, and it's acceptable to rephrase like this:

In the end, to my surprise, Agent Samson happened to be something along the line….

Thank you,

M
mitsuwao23Should I consider that this "it" actually has a practical meaning? Or, that this is more like a dummy-it,
Dummy it. Your paraphrase captures the essentials of the original, but without the "surprise" angle. The grammatical pattern for 'turn out' is about the same as the pattern for 'seem' (and a few other constructions) - though the meaning is different.

It seemed that Samson was a speech therapist. > Samson seemed to be a speech therapist.

It turned out that Samson was a speech therapist. > Samson turned out to be a speech therapist.

It is likely that Samson is a speech therapist. > Samson is likely to be a speech therapist.

CJ
Thank you, Your explanations and examples are always very easy to understand.Emotion: smile

M
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Hi CJ,

Please excuse me for this addtional question.

Do you think there's any reason you need to use these dummy-it's in the sentence like "it seems/looks/turns out" instead of "he seems/looks/turns out"?

In other words, what is the difference between, for instance, "it seemed that Samson was a speech therapist" and "Samson seemed to be a speech therapist"?

My point is, when I find and translate a "it seems he" sentnece, I rephrase it into the "he seems" sentence in my mind, because it easier for me to understand. But when I see the translation with the context sometime later, I very often find myself being unsatisfied with it. I feel something wrong.

So I thought that there might be some difference bwtween the stractures, which I am not aware of.

Any difference?

Thank you in advance,

M
mitsuwao23Do you think there's any reason you need to use these dummy-it's in the sentence like "it seems/looks/turns out" instead of "he seems/looks/turns out"?
In other words, what is the difference between, for instance, "it seemed that Samson was a speech therapist" and "Samson seemed to be a speech therapist"?
There is no difference in meaning. The form with "it" is considered the more 'primary' form, but the meaning is the same.

mitsuwao23My point is, when I find and translate a "it seems he" sentnece, I rephrase it into the "he seems" sentence in my mind, because it easier for me to understand. But when I see the translation with the context sometime later, I very often find myself being unsatisfied with it. I feel something wrong.
Your dissatisfaction may derive from the way the "seem" sentence fits together with the sentences around it. Sometimes it's actually the rhythm of the text, rather than a grammatical structure, that causes an unwanted effect.

mitsuwao23So I thought that there might be some difference bwtween the stractures, which I am not aware of.
Any difference?
Well, your question is a little vague, you'll have to admit, so I can't really add more than I've already said above. You might consider posting a examples where you think the two versions have different meanings. (Obviously, they always have different rhythms.)

CJ
Thank you for your help CJ,

Here's the one that I couldn't stand my translation.

(if you came up with some more idea, I'd appreciate it, but I know I shouldn't expect that much. The answer is probably in the rhythm not the structure, as you say.)

(The author describes one scene on TV that you are familiar with)

The suspect then chooses between doing thing the hard way and doing things the easy way, and the scene ends with either gunfire or the gentlemanly application of handcuffs. Occasionally it's a case of mistaken identity, but most often the suspect knows exactly why he's being taken. It seems he's been expecting this to happen. The anticipation has ruled his life, and now, finally, the wait is over.

There's no way to translate this dummy-it into Japanese words so I usually choose "he" as a subject in the translation, but as you probably can guess it won't work. Even in English, "He seems to have expected this to happen." sounds wrong. In other words, to my ears, this "It" seems to have some practical meaning, such as there.

Thank you,

M
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mitsuwao23It seems he's been expecting this to happen.
This 'raises' to

He seems to have been expecting this to happen.

(Not the version you suggested, which is missing the continuous component.)

In my opinion it's the complex infinitive (a perfect continuous infinitive) that makes it awkward.

_______

I don't know anything about how to express "seems" in Japanese so I can't help with the details. Nevertheless, you'll need some way of saying:

This seems to be true: He has been expecting this to happen.

CJ
Thank you for the reply and the additional help.



This seems to be true: He has been expecting this to happen.



I'll need to reconsider it later from the beginning since I think I'm thinking too much and feel lost, but this might click something in my head.Emotion: smile

Thanks again!

M