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  1. #1
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    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    There is a table and a chair in the living room.

    As nobody has replied to my question, I thought that perhaps it's best to start my own thread. Admittedly, I did hijack the other thread for my own purposes.

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson13 View Post
    I have that book by Martin Hewings, but I can honestly tell you that Mr Hewings will even say THERE IS A TABLE AND A CHAIR is standard English.
    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I haven't a copy of Advanced Grammar in Use to hand, but I would be surprised if Hewings said that that was standard English.
    I do not understand why nelson13, 5jj and bhaisahab (who liked 5jj's post) object to this construction. I'm missing something, but I don't know what.

    What is wrong with 'There is a table and a chair in the living room'? The verb agrees with its nearest complement, so why is this sentence problematic?

    And why then do we say:
    There is a chair and a table in this room NOT There are a chair and a table in this room?

    [...]

    there is / there are

    In your example of there is, Tanya, it is as if the items are being counted separately:
    There’s a chair and there’s a table in the room SO there’s a chair and table in the room.

    But note:
    There are three chairs and a table in the room.
    There’s a table and three chairs in the room.

    Learning English | BBC World Service
    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Normally, the verb agrees with its nearest complement.

    'There is an apple and three pears in the fruit bowl.'
    Anyone care to comment?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: There is a table and a chair in the living room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    I do not understand why nelson13, 5jj and bhaisahab (who liked 5jj's post) object to this construction.
    I don't object to the construction. I merely said that I would be surprised if this sentence, as it stands were considered standard English.
    What is wrong with 'There is a table and a chair in the living room'? The verb agrees with its nearest complement, so why is this sentence problematic?
    That is not the sentence I was talking about.

  3. #3
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Re: There is a table and a chair in the living room.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    That is not the sentence I was talking about.
    I see. OK, you were talking about 'There is a table and a chair.' As nelson13 chose to capitalise all the letters, I thought that he objected to the fragment with regard to the verb form (the subject matter of the thread).

    I've taken a quick look at the relevant pages in Advanced Grammar in Use (second edition) and this sentence is nowhere to be found.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 17-Nov-2012 at 18:02.

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