The impersonal pronoun, “it”, is frequently used as subjects. It is a common phenomenon.
First, it can be served as an antecedent (先行词) to replace the real subject or object.


It never occurred to me that she was so timid.


It is said that… It is thought that… It is well known that…
“it” is used to take the place of “that” clause.


It is well known that when fuels such as coal, oil and gas are burned, energy is released.

Second, it can be form word (虚义词) to substitute some subjects that mean certain ineffable phenomenon or situation.
It’s only half an hour’s walk from here to the campus.

Third, it can be regarded as emphatic word (强调词), which is hard to translate into Chinese.
It’s here that we first met each other.


it occurs(oc-curred)to me that

it dawns (dawned) on me that

it seems(seemed) to me that

it strikes (struck) me that

These sentences are frequently seen in English, yet there are not corresponding expressions in Chinese. Hence, when translating, it is neccessary to show the real subject.

The next morning it struck me that there was no shower in the flat.

It dawned on me that I had left the oven on.
It never occurred to me for a moment that you meant that.
An idiot hope struck me that they might think something had insulted me while I was writing the checque the that I had changed my mind.

It seems to me that the time is ripe for the Department of Employment and the Department of Education to get together with the universities and produce a revised educational system which will make a more economic use of the wealth of talent, application and industry currently being wasted on certificates, diplomas and degrees that no one wants to know about.