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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 8
    #1

    there is /there are

    Good afternoon,
    I would like to know, what is the difference between:
    In the examples : A boy is in the garden. and There is a boy in the garden.
    Are they semantically the same or the latter emphasizes locative and excistencial meaning...or both?
    It refers also to many other sentences which use there is /are
    Thank you, have a nice day


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: there is /there are

    I'll have a go, but ...

    A man looks out of his kitchen window and sees a boy is in his garden. He calls out to his wife, "Honey, there's a boy in our garden. Do you know who he is?"
    The first phrasing, 'a boy is in the garden' is one way we might objectively describe a scene or a picture. However, when we are describing a picture, we could also use the 'there is' phrasing, as in "There's a big mountain and there's a mountain goat standing on a rock, and there's....
    The second phrasing is how we might describe the same thing when we are talking to someone.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #3

    Re: there is /there are

    Quote Originally Posted by zoja View Post
    Good afternoon,
    I would like to know, what is the difference between:
    In the examples : A boy is in the garden. and There is a boy in the garden.
    Are they semantically the same or the latter emphasizes locative and existential meaning...or both?
    It refers also to many other sentences which use there is /are
    Thank you, have a nice day
    I'd say that the latter one is the normal neutral. In English we introduce new ideas, things, people, etc with existential there. The first sounds like it could be used in a more urgent type situation.

    A: A boy is in trouble! He's fallen through the ice. Please come quickly.

  2. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 8
    #4

    Re: there is /there are

    Yes I see, thank you.
    I also think about a sentence like:

    1.There isnīt/arenīt (?) any vegetable(s)? or eggs in a fridge.
    I know that with more than one subject it is plural, and if the subject nearer to the verb is singular, then probably verb is also singular.

    2.There IS ? no boy and no girls in the class.???
    what if the first is uncountable and the second countable? is it the case of the second sentence?
    thanks

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Oriya
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      • India
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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 2,121
    #5

    Exclamation Re: there is /there are

    “There” is a dummy subject. It is simply used to indicate the fact or existence of some thing which is the real subject. The verb has to agree with the real subject. In the first sentence it is indicating the existence of vegetable(s))or eggs(plural). Vegetables is uncountable and should normally take a singular verb but because of existence of eggs which is plural, the verb should be plural. So the first sentence should be:
    • There aren’t any vegetables or eggs in the fridge.
    Similarly in the second case it is immaterial whether one uncountable and another countable/uncountable noun are joined by ‘and’, the real subject will be plural. Example: There are no bread and milk in the fridge(bread and milk are both uncountable). So your 2nd sentence should be:
    2. There are no boy and no girl in the class.


  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 8
    #6

    Re: there is /there are

    Hi, thank you for your reply, but I am not sure about the word vegetable. In dictionaries it is under countable words(vegetable as a word, one vegetable, two vegetables) and types of vegetables can be C or U.And also on the Internet you find it as countable noun.If it would be uncountable you would not put there vegetableS.
    Following these rules, canīt it be like this?
    There arenīt any vegetables/vegetable or eggs in the fridge. (because i dont know if they think about one vegetable -e.g.:one carrot or more vegetables)
    thank you
    bye

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