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  1. Member
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    #1

    There are/Are there

    1) Why are there so many children here?


    can I ask it this way:

    2) Why there are so many children here?

    Thanks.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: There are/Are there

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Note the correct way to construct a question. Although you will hear native speakers and fluent non-natives using a statement construction with a questioning intonation at the end, we don't recommend that learners try it, and we don't use it in written English except in reported speech.
    .
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    #3

    Re: There are/Are there

    Quote Originally Posted by irinaofr View Post
    1) Why are there so many children here?


    can I ask it this way:

    2) Why there are so many children here?
    No, you can't. You will be understood but you will also reveal that you aren't a native speaker. Questions require subject-verb inversion:

    There [subject] are [verb] so many children here!

    Why are there so many children here?​ [Subject and verb are inverted.]
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  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: There are/Are there

    The use of questioning intonation at the end of a statement in order to make it a question doesn't work if you're trying to ask "Why ...?" or any other "Wh ..." questions.

    Is there a house in the street?
    There's a house in the street?

    Are you a journalist?
    You're a journalist?

    Is the party at seven?
    The party's at seven?

    However, you can't turn things like "What's your job?", "What time's the party?" into a statement with questioning intonation unless you cut short the sentence. You could say to someone "And the party's at ...?" You would leave a clear pause at the end, probably raise your eyebrows, making it clear that you expect the other person to fill in the missing detail (the time/location).
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 14-Feb-2017 at 21:20.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: There are/Are there

    Is there a house in street?
    There's a house in the street?

    Are you a journalist?
    You're a journalist?

    Is the party at seven?
    The party's at seven?

    So in your examples each second sentence is wrong?
    "You are a journalist?" said with a suitabale intonation sounds fine to me. Am I wrong?

    Thanks.

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    #6

    Re: There are/Are there

    Each of your second sentences is common in spoken English but wrong in the written language. In spoken English, we're likely to choose the non-inverted form if we want to convey some information about what we think the answer is: So, you're a journalist? means "I'm pretty sure you're a journalist. Are you?"
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  7. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: There are/Are there

    You're a journalist, right?
    You're a journalist, innit?
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  8. teechar's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: There are/Are there

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    You're a journalist, innit?
    That's very much street BrE! Please, don't anybody use it (especially when the main verb in the actual sentence is not "is").

    innit = isn't it = a catch-all tag question for those who don't know how (or can't be bothered) to form a proper tag question.

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    #9

    Re: There are/Are there

    It's a catch-all tag question then, innit?
    I am not a teacher.

  10. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: There are/Are there

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    That's very much street BrE! Please, don't anybody use it (especially when the main verb in the actual sentence is not "is").
    I did not know that word until I saw a teacher use it in a thread about question tags started by man of manners.
    I am not a teacher.

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