Het as a subject for a subject clause
Some sentences do not have a clearly defined subject. In Dutch, we then choose for either er (see er as a subject?) or het.
If the phrase is set in the passive voice, we generally use er. An exception is the passive sentence of which the 'that-subclause' is a factual statement, e.g. "Het is bevestigd dat ze broers zijn." (It has been confirmed that they are brothers). See also er or het?.
Het as a 'real' subject
If the sentence has an active voice, but no clearly defined subject, we use het. We do the same in English:
||Het gaat goed
||It goes alright
|Het is vijf uur
||It is five o' clock
||Het zal wel.*
||Lit: It will be
(*) A colloquial expression used in the sense of Yeah right.
Being a personal pronoun, 'het' can also function as a real subject:
|Het werd keurig opgeruimd (het bureau)
||It was properly tidied (the desk)
|Het kan bijwerkingen veroorzaken (het medicijn)
||It can cause side-effects (the medicine)