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Thread: "are" or "is"?

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    #1

    "are" or "is"?

    There's calls either for his assassination or the assassination of his staff.

    Why isn't "are" used here instead of "is"?

    Thanks

  1. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "are" or "is"?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeoct View Post
    There's calls either for his assassination or the assassination of his staff.

    Why isn't "are" used here instead of "is"?

    Thanks
    The writer has made a mistake. "Are" is correct.

  2. Hedwig's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "are" or "is"?

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    The writer has made a mistake. "Are" is correct.
    It seems to be a very popular mistake. I hear there's followed by plural phrases a lot on television.

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    #4

    Re: "are" or "is"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedwig View Post
    It seems to be a very popular mistake. I hear there's followed by plural phrases a lot on television.
    Hmmm...here in the US I can not recall this be the case on TV. I wonder if it's from non-natives?

    Not a teacher -- AmE native

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    #5

    Re: "are" or "is"?

    Thanks for the replies. I heard it on TV.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "are" or "is"?

    Natives DO say the contracted "There's" all the time, before single and plural.

    What we would not say is the uncontracted "there is" -- provided, of course, our speech was formed enough in out heads that we had a good sense of the rest of the sentence we were about to say.

    Spontaneous speech is filled with ungrammatical utterances because the direction of what we are going to say can change a lot from beginning to end. I hardly think this is limited to English.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. Hedwig's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "are" or "is"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Natives DO say the contracted "There's" all the time, before single and plural.

    What we would not say is the uncontracted "there is" -- provided, of course, our speech was formed enough in out heads that we had a good sense of the rest of the sentence we were about to say.

    Spontaneous speech is filled with ungrammatical utterances because the direction of what we are going to say can change a lot from beginning to end. I hardly think this is limited to English.
    I agree. This is what I always thought when I heard it. And it's nto limited to English, as you say. It does happen in Spanish all the time, too.

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    #8

    Re: "are" or "is"?

    Thanks Barb. Then, is it better to use "There's + plural noun" or "There are/'re + plural noun" in formal writing?

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: "are" or "is"?

    In formal writing, absolutely use the uncontracted "There are."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #10

    Re: "are" or "is"?

    OK, thank you.

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