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  1. Ann Fernando
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    #1

    Talking sentences

    'There's only two bunches of grapes.' Is it right or wrong? Please help me.

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    #2

    Re: sentences

    Wrong, but you will hear some people say it in some regions.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Fernando View Post
    'There's only two bunches of grapes.' Is it right or wrong? Please help me.
    I'd hesitate to call it wrong. I think "there is" plays an impersonal role similar to "it is".
    A: Who's there?
    B: It's only the boys.

    There's only three cakes left, and there's four of us!
    This is normal in AusE.

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    #4

    Re: sentences

    As Tdol posted you will hear it expressed as "there's" but really it should be "there are" in your example, and that raises another issue. You will hear also "therer only two etc.", obviously not spelled correctly and that is the other issue. If writing the statement, you should not use the contraction as "ther're". There is no valid/correct contraction for "there are".

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    There is no valid/correct contraction for "there are".
    We have "we're" for we are, and "you're" for you are.
    So why not "there're". And we say "there's" for singular. So, if it's not a legitimate contraction, it should be.

  4. yuriya's Avatar
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    #6

    Smile Re: sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Fernando View Post
    'There's only two bunches of grapes.' Is it right or wrong? Please help me.
    I think it's one of those things you choose as wrong in an exam but you use or hear used very often in real life. I find it very interesting though that while there's two of us sounds OK, there is two of us looks wrong.

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    #7

    Re: sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    We have "we're" for we are, and "you're" for you are.
    So why not "there're". And we say "there's" for singular. So, if it's not a legitimate contraction, it should be.
    To Raymott:
    You have sent me scurrying for a more authoritative source than my post. What I have found might be more disturbing than my original. There are apparently other contractions that are taboo in written form, e.g. here're/here are, there'll/there will, we'll/we will etc. Anyway, I found this excerpt from Amy Lightfoot of BBC's Learning English website. So, write them at your own risk and hopefully you won't be confronted by the contraction police!

    "Hello (Name) this is a great question as, like you said, it's almost impossible to find the answer to this in a dictionary or grammar book. You're right we use these kinds of contractions all the time when we're speaking and because they're not 'important' words like nouns or verbs, they tend to get mumbled a little bit and its difficult to hear how they are said.

    If you try and pronounce any of these contractions slowly, you can make out the differences between them:

    there're
    they're
    there'll be
    they'll be

    But of course, when we're speaking normally we don't say them slowly and in fact, the two pairs of words you're asking about end up sounding almost exactly the same. Let's try putting them into sentences so you can hear them in context:

    She said there're going to be about a thousand people there.

    I hope they're all going to bring something to eat!
    If not there'll be a lot of hungry people.
    I expect they'll be so busy dancing they wont think about food.

    Can you hear that the first two words sound a bit like 'there' and the second two words sound like 'thell'. Listen again.

    Because, as you said, they are unstressed, the pronunciation of the second syllable in each word almost completely disappears.

    One last thing one of the contractions youve mentioned is only really used when speaking, while the other three are used in informal writing as well. Do you know which is the odd one out? Its there're - the contraction of 'there are'. It's quite uncommon to see this written down unless you are trying to write exactly like we speak, for example in direct speech in a dialogue.


    Amy Lightfoot started out doing a degree in psychology in 1995 and quickly became interested in the processes involved in learning languages. She now has a Trinity CertTESOL, DELTA and MA in English Language Teaching. She has taught English and worked on teacher training projects in the UK, Portugal, India, Afghanistan and Bhutan. She is currently working as a freelance materials writer and language trainer in Somerset, England.



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