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    #1

    Why not "there are"?

    Recently I have read a post which goes, "I don't really see the point in reading a novel more than once, to be quite honest, unless you were -completely- in love with it. There's so many good books out there that going through something you've already read before would detract your time and attention from discovering new material." Would you please tell me why this native speaker said "there's so many good books", rather than "there are so many good books"? As a non-native speaker, I never dare to use "there's so many people, books or anything in its plural form".

    In English grammar books, we also have sentences like "There is an old worker and two young assistants doing the job today." My understanding of the use of "there is", rather than "there are" in these situations, though the subject is plural, is that native speakers might originally have only thought of the first item of the list in the subject or they might not have known it would be a list and even sometimes it is a long list when they started the sentence, they may pause after this first item. However, when they have mentioned the first item, they instantly think of more items. They then add these items, but they do not wish to or they do not have the time to or they do not care to change "there is" to "there are", as they don’t think that not changing "there is" to "there are" will confuse their listeners in terms of the meaning of the whole sentence. So, I guess that in some situations this "there is" is a slip that nearly all native speakers make when they are talking in a casual way. Because of this, we do not consider it as a mistake but rather something acceptable and natural. And sentences like "There is an old worker and two young assistants doing the job today." appear in both spoken English and written English. Interestingly, now we all say “There are an old worker and two young assistants doing the job today” is wrong.

    Please tell me whether my analysis above is a sound understanding of the issue or not.
    Thanks.
    Richard

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    #2

    Re: Why not "there are"?

    There are so many good books.
    There is an old work and two young assistant...

    not a teacher
    Last edited by tedtmc; 14-Nov-2008 at 09:00.

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    #3

    Re: Why not "there are"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    Recently I have read a post which goes, "I don't really see the point in reading a novel more than once, to be quite honest, unless you were -completely- in love with it. There's so many good books out there
    Richard
    There's so many good books. (wrong)
    There's so much water.(correct)
    There are so many good books (correct)
    not a teacher


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    #4

    Re: Why not "there are"?

    There's so many good books out there that going through something you've already read before...

    This was written by an 18 year old American.

    "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"

    This was said by her President.

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    #5

    Re: Why not "there are"?

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    There's so many good books out there that going through something you've already read before...

    This was written by an 18 year old American.

    "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"

    This was said by her President.
    Last week I watched the disaster film The Day After Tomorrow, which was produced in 2004, and I noticed that that black says, "There's some people there walking on the snow!" when he suddenly notices that there are several people walking outside the library. And my judgement is that the black is at least 36 years old.
    I agree with you on the second sentence marked in red. But President George W. Bush may ask: Is our children learning?

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