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    #1

    articles in there is/there structure

    Hello,

    My question's rather silly, but in the light of what I've learned about the articles recently I seem to have a mess in my head. I'm looking at a picture of a kitchen. There're three cups on the table and 4 drawers in the cupboard. Should I say:

    There's a mouse in a cup on the table.
    There's a mouse behind a leg of the table (there're 4 of them, it doesn't matter which one)
    There's a mouse in a drawer of the cupboard.
    However,
    There's a mouse in the drawer (=in the kitchen I'm describing, even if there's more than one).

    Thank you in advance!

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    #2

    Re: articles in there is/there structure

    Don't worry about this. You are thinking too much

    In general, if you are talking about a particular mouse, the mouse, in specific cup, so use "the"

    Better to say, "There's a mouse in that cup." ((specific mouse in specific cup)

    However, if you are speaking generally about the idea of a mouse in any one of the drawers, you could use, "a" Imagine this conversation.


    What wrong, Mary?
    There's a mouse in a drawer and it scared me. Then I saw another in a cup.

    Hope you aren't confused, because I am, now :)


    PS: There're is not seen in writing . Use there are

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: articles in there is/there structure

    Hello Verona_82,

    Your first and last example sentences are fine. The second and third sound more natural to me this way:

    [2] There's a mouse behindatable leg.
    [3] There's a mouse in a cupboard drawer.


    The word 'a' meaning one of (the table legs; the cupboard drawers).

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    #4

    Re: articles in there is/there structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    My question's rather silly, but in the light of what I've learned about the articles recently I seem to have a mess in my head. I'm looking at a picture of a kitchen. There're three cups on the table and 4 drawers in the cupboard. Should I say:

    There's a mouse in a cup on the table.
    There's a mouse behind a leg of the table (there're 4 of them, it doesn't matter which one)
    There's a mouse in a drawer of the cupboard.
    However,
    There's a mouse in the drawer (=in the kitchen I'm describing, even if there's more than one).

    Thank you in advance!

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Verona,


    (1) I noticed that you wrote: There're three cups.

    (2) I think that you are, indeed, correct in writing "there're," but

    I believe that most native speakers would never try to pronounce

    such a contraction (too difficult to pronounce).

    (3) I most respectfully suggest that you say/write out the

    two words: there are.

    (4) In speech, native speakers simply say, "There's three cups."

    For some reason, "there's" + three cups is OK, but it is not OK to

    say "There is three cups"!!!

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    #5

    Re: articles in there is/there structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Your first and last example sentences are fine. The second and third sound more natural to me this way:

    [2] There's a mouse behind a table leg.
    [3] There's a mouse in a cupboard drawer.
    It depends entirely on how the speaker views the situation. If s/he is looking at the table leg or drawer at the moment of speaking, then s/he might well use 'the'. In the speaker's mind, one specific place is being referred to.

    If I were writing this for someone who was to read it later, then I would almost certainly use 'a'.

    In informal conversation, we very often combine two or more thoughts into one utterance. If somebody analyses the utterance later, there appear to be clear breaches of the established 'rules'; at the moment of speaking, neither speaker nor listener would notice anything wrong with the utterance.

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    #6

    Re: articles in there is/there structure

    Thank you for the replies! They've been very helpful.

    I'd like to ask one more question relating to the subject.
    Am I right about using a singular verb after 'there', even if a noun phrase consists of two or more nouns?
    For example,

    There is a library and a museum in town.

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    #7

    Re: articles in there is/there structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Am I right about using a singular verb after 'there', even if a noun phrase consists of two or more nouns?

    There is a library and a museum in town.
    No. There are two libraries in town.

    You will sometimes hear sentences such as yours when two singular nouns are connected by 'and'. This may be because the speaker has started with one idea, There is a library, and then remembered another, and a museum. This is not serious in informal coversation, but such constructions should not be considered 'correct'.

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    #8

    Re: articles in there is/there structure

    5jj, I must have worded my question poorly.
    There are two libraries - ok.
    I was wondering if I should use a sg verb when the first noun is also singular, but there are several nouns on my list.

    There is a book and a magazine on the table. (instead of 'There are...").

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    #9

    Re: articles in there is/there structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    5jj, I must have worded my question poorly.
    No, but you didn't read the last part of my answer.

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    #10

    Re: articles in there is/there structure

    Oh... Indeed Thursday evening syndrome.
    But why do you consider such "there is ...and....' structures to be incorrect?

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