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    #1

    "Is there" vs "Are there"

    Example 1) There are some apples on the table. -> Are there any apples on the table?
    Example 2) There is some rice in the box. -> Is there any rice in the box?

    In the above examples #1 and #2, #1 is the case for countable nouns; #2 is the case for uncountable nouns.

    Now, how about this: "Is there any way to save his life?"
    The term "way" is a countable noun, but this sentence starts with "Is there way...?" instead of "Are there any ways...?". According to some dictionaries, they say that when the noun is countable, usually a question starts with "Are there...," not "Is there...". That's why, I have started to wonder if this sentence form "Is there...?" is actually correct or not. I got confused...help me, please.

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    #2

    Re: "Is there" vs "Are there"

    There is no problem using "Is there______?" with countable nouns. "Is there any way to save his life?" is correct English. After all, you only need one way to save his life.

    Another example is, "Is there a bus that can take us to the stadium?" You can also say "Are there any buses_________?" Maybe there are two buses, and one is more convenient.
    Last edited by 2006; 20-Apr-2007 at 06:04.

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    #3

    Re: "Is there" vs "Are there"

    Thank you for your comment.
    I am sorry that my explanation might not have been enough for one to understand correctly.

    Okay, so you are saying that nothing is wrong to say "Is there any + singular count noun (e.g., way) ...?" in English. If this is correct, can I say "Is there any bus that can take us to the stadium?" instead of saying "Are there any buses that can take us to the stadium?" ?

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    #4

    Re: "Is there" vs "Are there"

    You can, but we often use the singular when we feel we are running out of choices.

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    #5

    Re: "Is there" vs "Are there"

    I see.
    Thank for your information and advice.

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