[Grammar] There are a number of inherent problems in the design.

newkeenlearner

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Hi,
Are these two equal in meaning?


There are a number of problems inherent in the design. (Predicative adjective used only after linking verbs)
There are a number of inherent problems in the design.(Descriptive adjective used before noun and after linking verbs)
 

jutfrank

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Same meaning but I prefer the former.
 

Phaedrus

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Each sentence can be analyzed as a transformation of a sentence without "there":

1. There are a number of problems inherent in the design.
--> A number of problems are inherent in the design.

2. There are a number of inherent problems in the design.
--> A number of inherent problems are in the design.

Can a man-made thing have inherent problems that aren't part of its design? If not, it doesn't make sense to assert that that's where a number of inherent problems are, as (2) does. But we can certainly describe the thing's problems as "inherent in the design," as (1) does.

In (1), but not in (2), "inherent in the design" is one adjective phrase, in which the prepositional phrase nested within it ("in the design") modifies the adjective "inherent," the head of the phrase. Using inversion, you could say, "Inherent in the design are a number of problems."
 
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