Good point. The pink portion is for you.Originally Posted by X Mode
zhongshan, sentence  is ungrammatical (Please note, the symbol * represents an ungrammatical sentence).
 *There wasn't many person there.
There reason it's ungrammatical is this, 'many' modifies plural nouns, but in  it's modifying a singular noun, notably 'person'.
Sentence  is called an existential there sentence: the word 'there' functions as a structural subject. That is, every sentence must have a subject, so words like 'There' and 'It' fit that constraint. They don't really mean anything; they simply hold the subject position in the structure; that's why they're called structural subjects.
Now, with existential there sentences, the true subject comes after the verb. I've underlined the true subject in ,
 There weren't many people there
We know if 'many people' is the true subject if we can use it to replace "There", like this,
 Many people weren't there.
 Many people were not there.
In , 'Many people' agrees in number with the contracted form "weren't"; Example  gives the non-contracted form; the subject is in agreement with the verb "were", not the adverb "not".
Going back to question 10, provided again as , below, the problem is evident once we replace 'There' with the true subject
 *There wasn't many person there. => *Many person wasn't there.
The subject is 'person', it's singular in number, as is the contracted verb-adverb "wasn't". They agree , so that's not the problem. The problem is the word 'Many'. It modifies 'person', a singular noun. The correct form should be,
 There were many people there.
Here's some context for you:
Max: How many people were at concert?
Sam: There were many people there.
Pat: What are you talking about? There weren't many people there!
Sam: Many people were there!
Pat: Many people were not there! (emphasis on 'not there')
Max: I'm sorry I asked the question.
Actually, it refers to the sentence's base structure.Originally Posted by X Mode
Good point. I believe the term 'canonical structure' was in response to your post, not the student's. My apologies for using grammatical terminology. I will make it a point to use "friendlier" language next time I reply to your posts.Originally Posted by X Mode
Right. Time is also required. I should have taken the time to explain my sentences.Originally Posted by X Mode
Yes. I am aware of that. In fact, I have it right here:Originally Posted by X Mode
Context, as you noted, is everything, yes. I agree. So let's focus on that; let's get back to the topic of this thread:Originally Posted by X Mode
In other words, is "There wasn't many person there" grammatical or not? I trust you'll read my responses. By the way, I seemed to have missed your response to zhongshan's question. If you feel my responses or anyone else's responses are not up to par, why not provide a better solution? Knowledge is power, right? Discussion is important, but so is sticking to the poster's original question. It'd be beneficial if you could involve the poster in your responses. This is zhongshan's thread.Originally Posted by zhongshan
If you'd like to talk about grammar that isn't directly related to a given post or is directly related but doesn't involve the poster's participation, please feel free to send me a private message or an email. I look forward to hearing from you, as I am sure the posters would, too.
All the best,