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    #1

    to have or there is/are

    Dear teachers, I have realized that I'm not sure when to use grammatical structures like "to have" and "there is/are". I have always thought that they are replaceable.

    Are there any mistakes? They are supposed to be as the sentences are taken from the book for TOEFL preparation. I can see hardly one or two. Could you, please, tell me what they are? Thank you in advance! (This book unfortunately doesn't have keys)

    1. There are three cats in my house.
    2. There are five people in my family.
    3. In my house there are 8 rooms = In my house are 8 rooms.
    4. There is a nice view from my house.
    5. The university has no cheap apartments near it.
    6. There is a big party next week at the Student Centre = There will be a big party next week at the Student Center (but if it is planned it can be - there is?)
    7. The university has no cheap apartments near it.
    8. There is much memory in my computer.
    9. There is a camera on my cell-phone.
    10. There are many off-campus activities throughout the year.
    11. Toronto usually has nice weather in June.
    12. Canada has many mountains in the west.
    13. There is a lot of smog in many Canadian cities in summer.
    Last edited by Mercha; 11-Mar-2014 at 19:23.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Mercha View Post
    Dear teachers, I have realized that I'm not sure when to use that or that grammatical structure to have or there is/are.
    Hi Mercha, your first sentence is incomprehensible. Since you are a teacher, can I point out that the index words should be highlighted in some way - usually by quotes or italics. The following is an example, but I'm still not sure:
    "I have realized that I'm not sure when to use 'that' or that grammatical structure 'to have' or "there is/are."

    All of your sentences are good except maybe 8. "There is a lot of memory ..." is better. "Much" is most often used in a negative sentence - "There is not much memory in my computer." or a comparative adverb - "There is much more memory in mine than in yours."

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    #3
    Thank you for your comment. So you don't see any problems even with the 3rd sentence, do you? It is quite strange that there are practically no mistakes - the book offers to find them and correct. As for "much" in a positive sentence, this book gives this variant as a norm. I think it is because this is American English not British one. I also was surprised. I expected mistakes in the use of structures 'to have' and 'there is/there are'.

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #4
    I am not a teacher.

    I agree with Raymott's comment about 8.

    The only thing I have to say about 3. is that I would naturally use a different word order. "There are 8 rooms in my house." But the original is not incorrect.

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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    I agree with Raymott's comment about 8.

    The only thing I have to say about 3. is that I would naturally use a different word order. "There are 8 rooms in my house." But the original is not incorrect.
    The book gives the following correct variants as theory part:

    'In the hall are three umbrellas'. So with this pattern I corrected the original sentence 'In my house there are 8 rooms' to 'In my house are 8 rooms'.
    It is quite unusual but probably this is one of rare inversion cases.

    As for 'many' and 'much' in a positive sentence, some other examples are given like 'There are many hybrid cars on the market these days', 'There are many people in the store'.

    So this is also not a mistake. And so what, from 13 sentences one mistake? It can't be. The book is called 'Building Grammar Skills for TOEFL ibt', it is quite popular.

    Is there anybody here who is American and who could know this?

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mercha View Post
    'In the hall are three umbrellas'. So with this pattern I corrected the original sentence 'In my house there are 8 rooms' to 'In my house are 8 rooms'. It is quite unusual but probably this is one of rare inversion cases.
    There's nothing rare about either of those sentences. To me, the form with "there are" is more natural. I'm sure you realise that you can't call one form wrong simple because a book says that a different form is right. English has many ways of saying things.


    As for 'many' and 'much' in a positive sentence, some other examples are given like 'There are many hybrid cars on the market these days', 'There are many people in the store'.
    They are two examples using 'many'. Your original sentence uses 'much'. It's not wrong, but it isn't very natural.


    So this is also not a mistake. No one is calling it a mistake.

    And so what, from 13 sentences one mistake? It can't be. It's happened before.
    The book is called 'Building Grammar Skills for TOEFL ibt', it is quite popular. Many things are popular. And no one is doubting your book. It's your assumptions from what the book says that may be faulty, eg. that you can argue the usage of 'much' on the basis of discussion of 'many'.

    Is there anybody here who is American and who could know this?
    You can ask an American or an Irishman, or New Zealander, but the answer won't change significantly. Anyhow, I'll leave follow-ups to the nationals you trust.

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    #7
    I can't understand your tone, Mr Raymott, I asked for help and not for reprimands. If you don't wish to help and didn't intend it, you should have missed this post. I don't pretend on absolutely perfect English as soon as I'm not a native speaker of it. You had better read rules of this forum once again and this time more thouroughly.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mercha View Post
    I can't understand your tone, Mr Raymott, I asked for help and not for reprimands.
    You've misread my tone. I am trying to help you. I tend to answer questions directly. For example, explaining that you cannot make a judgment of 'much' from a discussion of 'many' is simply a statement of fact; it's not meant as a reprimand. If you feel that it's offensive to point out logical errors as a way to explain why you are not understanding something, then I will refrain from answering your questions. But you could just take my words at face value, and maybe learn something.
    You will find that most teachers here will correct you if you are wrong. This is in the nature of teaching. But I feel we are not going to get along. Good luck.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mercha View Post
    You had better read rules of this forum once again and this time more thouroughly.
    Raymott explained what he was trying to do. However, regardless of his intention or the outcome of this exchange, the sentence I have left quoted above is entirely unacceptable from someone who is very new to this forum and has made only four posts. Take the time to read lots of other threads in the forum and you will see how the different teachers/native speakers/volunteers deal with questions.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10
    This AmE speaker agrees with everything you have been told.

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