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    #1

    There is / There are?

    Hi!

    I've got a questions concerning the use of "there is" and "there are". Do I have to use "there is" or "there are" when listing several (singular) items, e.g.: "There are a bed and a chair in my bedroom" or "There is a bed and a chair in my bedroom"? I really can't make out which version is correct. Thanks for your help!

  1. Mariner's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: There is / There are?

    There is a bed and a chair in my bedroom

    But notice that this is a different case than e.g. this:
    There are pieces of furniture in my bedroom
    There's pieces of furniture in my bedroom <INFORMAL>
    ??There is pieces of furniture in my bedroom?? [If not ungrammatical, at least very strange]


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    #3

    Re: There is / There are?

    Thanks!
    So when listing several singular nouns I always have to use "there is"?


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    #4

    Re: There is / There are?

    Hi,
    What matters is the very first noun - if it's singular, there is , if it's plural, there are.
    Cheers

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: There is / There are?

    Quote Originally Posted by MMex View Post
    Hi!

    I've got a questions concerning the use of "there is" and "there are". Do I have to use "there is" or "there are" when listing several (singular) items, e.g.: "There are a bed and a chair in my bedroom" or "There is a bed and a chair in my bedroom"? I really can't make out which version is correct. Thanks for your help!
    I have to disagree with my colleagues. Technically, unless the two items are so closely related that they are seen as a unit, a plural verb is needed.

    In "there is/are" constructions, the true subject follows the verb.

    That said, many people would use "is" in your sentence.

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    #6

    Re: There is / There are?

    Quote Originally Posted by MMex View Post
    Hi!

    I've got a questions concerning the use of "there is" and "there are". Do I have to use "there is" or "there are" when listing several (singular) items, e.g.: "There are a bed and a chair in my bedroom" or "There is a bed and a chair in my bedroom"? I really can't make out which version is correct. Thanks for your help!
    It's a disputed area of language use. Some go for mathematical consistency, but other go for what sounds best when the verb is followed by a singular noun, even if another singular noun follows. This is the proximate view, where the closeness of the singular noun affects the verb, and it's one I go for. BrE is more casual about singular and plural than some variants, so we're happy to use singular verbs in cases like this and to use plural verbs for collective nouns. To be honest, There are a chair and a bed in my bedroom is so rare in BrE that it sounds unnatural to me.

    I'm afraid that some issues are not black and white and people will give different answers.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: There is / There are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    There's pieces of furniture in my bedroom <INFORMAL>
    ??There is pieces of furniture in my bedroom?? [If not ungrammatical, at least very strange]
    We don't normally speak of 'pieces of furniture'.

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