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  1. #1
    Nanu1 is offline Junior Member
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    why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    1. There is a book on the table -- existential clause
    2. A book is on the table -- basic version
    3. A book is there -- (there= on the table, adverb of place)

    An existential clause is a clause that refers to the existence or presence of something. If something exists in some place then we use adverbs of place. So adverbs can fulfill the use of existence or presence of something. Then why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    4. A book is there ~ There is a book.

    If we point out that thing (here "the book") and tell that " There is a book", here "there" is not used as dummy subject but it is an adverb. The normal word order in positive sentence is “A book is there” (subject-verb-other components) but here “adverb-verb-subject”. Can we use this order? And which order is the best to use and why?

  2. #2
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanu1 View Post
    " There is a book", here "there" is not used as dummy subject but it is an adverb.
    'In English, the word "there" can be used as a pronoun, functioning as a dummy subject.'—quoted from http://www.myenglishpages.com/site_p...ummy-there.php
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Nanu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    'In English, the word "there" can be used as a pronoun, functioning as a dummy subject.'—quoted from http://www.myenglishpages.com/site_p...ummy-there.php
    1. a) There is hope.
    b) There are some students. Here "there" is dummy subject and it has no meaning.
    2. a) Hope is there.
    b) Some students are there. Here "there" is adverb of place so it has adverbial meaning.

    Here is my question. If something exists in some place then we use adverbs of place. So adverbs can fulfill the use of existence or presence of something. Then why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    Some languages use dummy subjects and others don't. A dummy subject may have no meaning but it fulfils a grammatical requirement of languages like English.

  5. #5
    Nanu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    There is often no clear answer to the question Why? ​about any aspect of language.
    Is it mandatory to use dummy subjects in sentences? could we use normal structures in place of dummy subjects?

  6. #6
    Nanu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Some languages use dummy subjects and others don't. A dummy subject may have no meaning but it fulfils a grammatical requirement of languages like English.
    Here is my question. If something exists in some place then we use adverbs of place. So adverbs can fulfill the use of existence or presence of something. could we use normal structures in place of dummy subjects?

  7. #7
    Nanu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    At what situations can we use dummy subjects or dummy subjects are mandatory? or optional?
    Last edited by Nanu1; 28-Oct-2017 at 15:23.

  8. #8
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    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanu1 View Post
    At In what situations can we use dummy subjects, or and are dummy subjects are mandatory or optional in such situations?
    .

  9. #9
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    There are situations where a dummy subject should be used.

    I think the dummy subject above is obligatory.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: why we need dummy subjects and its usage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanu1 View Post
    . . . A book is there ~ There is a book.

    If we point out that thing (here "the book") and tell that " There is a book", here "there" is not used as dummy subject but it is an adverb. The normal word order in positive sentence is “A book is there” (subject-verb-other components) but here “adverb-verb-subject”. Can we use this order? And which order is the best to use and why?
    Both are fine, but they have slightly different meanings.

    - Is the table cleared?
    - Not yet. A book is there.

    - Where can we get instructions for repairing the Saab?
    - There is a book.

    I'm not a grammarian, but in "A book is there," the "there" looks more like a pronoun to me: "there" = "the table."
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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