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    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    "there" sentences

    Hello!
    I'm writing a graduation thesis on "there" sentences, and I'd like you to tell me whether each sentence below is right or wrong.
    If there are sentences which are possible under a certain situation, please give me an example of the situation.

    a.There is the woman in the house.
    b.There is the book on table.
    c.There is the book of linguistics on the table.
    d.There was the shadow of a big dog in the dark.
    e.There's the possibility that John will come in time.
    f.There's the possibility for John to go abroad.
    g.There was never the problem in England.
    h.In England there was never the problem that there was in America.
    i.There was the surprising odor in the closet today.
    j.There's the question to be answered at once.

    I thank you in advance of your help.


    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 72
    #2

    Re: "there" sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by rika-chi View Post
    Hello!
    I'm writing a graduation thesis on "there" sentences, and I'd like you to tell me whether each sentence below is right or wrong.
    If there are sentences which are possible under a certain situation, please give me an example of the situation.

    a.There is the woman in the house.
    b.There is the book on table.
    c.There is the book of linguistics on the table.
    d.There was the shadow of a big dog in the dark.
    e.There's the possibility that John will come in time.
    f.There's the possibility for John to go abroad.
    g.There was never the problem in England.
    h.In England there was never the problem that there was in America.
    i.There was the surprising odor in the closet today.
    j.There's the question to be answered at once.

    I thank you in advance of your help.

    Hello rika-chi,

    I am a native English speaker from the United States. To me:

    a.There is the woman in the house. OK

    b.There is the book on table. OK

    c.There is the book of linguistics on the table. (OK, with a small change: There is the linguistics book on the table)

    d.There was the shadow of a big dog in the dark. (OK with a small change:
    There was the big dog's shadow in the dark) Also, please note that it's hard for me to imagine a context where you can see a shadow if it's dark.

    e.There's the possibility that John will come in time. (OK with a small change: come on time)

    f.There's the possibility for John to go abroad. OK

    g.There was never the problem in
    England. OK

    h.In
    England there was never the problem that there was in America. OK

    i.There was the surprising odor in the closet today. OK

    j.There's the question to be answered at once. OK

    It might be useful to think about what "There" means in all your examples because it has two very different general uses. When you discover those uses, then understanding how to apply "there" in different contexts will be much easier.

    Consider the following examples which clearly demonstrate the different functions of "There":

    1. There is a big dog that lives here
    2. There is the big dog that lives here

    What's the difference in the use of "there"?

    Good luck.

    I hope that helps.


    Matthew Balson
    author of The Secret Lives of English Verbs

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