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  1. #11
    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    Oh, interesting. It's not even mentioned in the book.
    You probably won't find it in any book. It was emsr2d2's explanation of why, in a sentence like "There ___ a computer and a TV in my room", we can use There are or There's, but we don't normally use There is.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 23-Nov-2020 at 17:09. Reason: enlarging the small text
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  2. #12
    Rachel Adams is offline Key Member
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    You probably won't find it in any book. It was emsr2d2's explanation of why, in a sentence like "There ___ a computer and a TV in my room", we can use There are or There's, but we don't normally use There is.
    I see. If I have a singular word "There is a cat in the room." Is "there's" more natural than "there is"? or a plural noun: "There are cats in the room." Is "There're" more natural than "There are." In such cases too. I am asking because I was completing exercises in "English Grammar in Context" by Simon Clarke. There are no short forms.

  3. #13
    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    I see. If I have a singular word "There is a cat in the room." Is "there's" more natural than "there is"?
    Contractions are always more common than full forms in normal speech.
    or a plural noun: "There are cats in the room."Is "There're" more natural than "There are."
    There're is not a recognised contraction in writing, though it's common enough in speech.
    In such cases too. I am asking because I was completing exercises in "English Grammar in Context" by Simon Clarke. There are no short forms.
    The form that is 'correct' in those exercises is the form Mr Clarke accepts.
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  4. #14
    Rachel Adams is offline Key Member
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Contractions are always more common than full forms in normal speech.
    There're is not a recognised contraction in writing, though it's common enough in speech.
    The form that is 'correct' in those exercises is the form Mr Clarke accepts.
    Yes, I understand that but is the case emsr2d2 was talking about the only case when "there is" is unnatural? In speech as you said "There's" is more common but in writing?
    Is for example, "There is a woman in the hall" less natural than "There's a woman in the hall." In writing.

  5. #15
    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    Is for example, "There is a woman in the hall" less natural than "There's a woman in the hall." In writing.
    It's not a question of naturalness but of style.
    Contractions were traditionally frowned on in writing, except in presenting direct speech. However, things have relaxed quite a bit over the last few years, and contractions are far more common in writing than they were in my youth.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  6. #16
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    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    I see. If I have a singular word "There is a cat in the room." Is "there's" more natural than "there is"? or a plural noun: "There are cats in the room." Is "There're" more natural than "There are." In such cases too. I am asking because I was completing exercises in "English Grammar in Context" by Simon Clarke. There are no short forms.
    Well, then:

    Conversationally, many or most English speakers often say there's instead of there are simply because it rolls off the tongue much more easily.

    It's a shortcut. That doesn't make it strictly grammatical, and it doesn't make there are incorrect or unnatural.

    So in conversation you can say either "There's a computer and a TV" or "There are a computer and a TV." Both are fine.

    Personally, I go both ways conversationally, depending on how careful I'm being at the moment, and in writing I use there are.

    It's you're choice, as long as you know the difference. (And it looks like you do.)

    Since your exercise doesn't offer contractions (short forms), I'd use are, not is.
    Last edited by probus; 24-Nov-2020 at 19:13. Reason: Fix typo
    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.

  7. #17
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    Yes, I understand that but is the case emsr2d2 was talking about the only case when "there is" is unnatural? In speech, as you said, "There's" is more common but what about in writing?
    Is, for example, "There is a woman in the hall" less natural than "There's a woman in the hall" no full stop here in writing?
    Note my corrections, mainly to your punctuation, above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #18
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    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    I don't want to make things complicated, but may I ask a question?

    There's a computer and a table in my room.
    Would you use 'was' or 'were' if the sentence above were in the past?

    There was a computer and a table in my room.

    There were a computer and a table in my room.

  9. #19
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Would you use 'was' or 'were' if the sentence above were in the past?
    was

  10. #20
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    Re: "There is a computer and a TV."

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    was
    Would it be safe to say that 'the principle of proximity' is applied there? My guess is that you choose to say "was" because of the following "a".

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