Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    MMex is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    238
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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]

  3. #3
    MMex is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: There is / There are?

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,335
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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

  5. #5
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    15,214
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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'.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •