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  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
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      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 2,695
    #1

    There is my pen on the desk.

    Hello.

    Today I have a question as to the usage of 'There is/are...'.

    If I understand it correctly, the construction ('There is/are...') is not used for specific things:

    1. There is my pen on the desk. Incorrect
    My pen is on the desk. Correct

    2. There is Tokyo Disneyland in Chiba prefecture in Japan. Incorrect
    Tokyo Disneyland is in Chiba prefecture in Japan. Correct

    Do I understand it correctly?

    Thank you.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    • Posts: 41,814
    #2

    Re: There is my pen on the desk.

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hello.

    Today I have a question as to the usage of 'There is/are...'.

    If I understand it correctly, the construction ('There is/are...') is not used for specific things:

    1. There is my pen on the desk. Incorrect
    My pen is on the desk. Correct

    2. There is Tokyo Disneyland in Chiba prefecture in Japan. Incorrect
    Tokyo Disneyland is in Chiba prefecture in Japan. Correct

    Do I understand it correctly?

    Thank you.
    Your quoted sentences are correct but I don't agree with "There is/are is not used for specific things".

    "There is a pen on the desk" is a perfectly acceptable sentence and the pen mentioned is a "specific thing". It is just one pen and the people looking at the table know exactly which pen is being referred to.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #3

    Re: There is my pen on the desk.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Your quoted sentences are correct but I don't agree with "There is/are is not used for specific things".

    "There is a pen on the desk" is a perfectly acceptable sentence and the pen mentioned is a "specific thing". It is just one pen and the people looking at the table know exactly which pen is being referred to.
    I don't entirely agree. If we say "There is a pen on the desk", we don't specify exactly which pen it is. Compare:

    A: I can't find my pen.
    Bi: It (= your pen) is on the desk.
    Bii: There is a pen on the desk (it may be yours, but I don't know for sure).

    A: I can't find my Montblanc Starwalker Carbon Fineliner pen.
    Bi: It (= your Montblanc Starwalker Carbon Fineliner pen) is on the desk.
    Bii: There is a Montblanc Starwalker Carbon Fineliner pen on the desk (it is almost cetainly yours, because nobody else in this house has a Montblanc Starwalker Carbon Fineliner pen, as far as I know, but I am not 100% certain that the one on the desk is yours.).

    In the final response, Bii has not specifically said that the pen is A's Montblanc Starwalker Carbon Fineliner pen

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