there is a lot of people or there are a lot of people?

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Anonymous

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Who would please explain the difference to me? Do you say there is a lot of people or there are a lot of people?Which one is correct? Only one? Both? Why? thanks :p
 

bmo

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charliese said:
Who would please explain the difference to me? Do you say there is a lot of people or there are a lot of people?Which one is correct? Only one? Both? Why? thanks :p

it should be there are. A lot of = many.

www.google.com, exact search results:

there are a lot of people - 169,000 listings.
there is a lot of people -5,880 listings.
 
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milky

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charliese said:
Who would please explain the difference to me? Do you say there is a lot of people or there are a lot of people?Which one is correct? Only one? Both? Why? thanks :p

"Are" is correct, but many slip into "is" in casual speech-especially in the contracted form:

"There's many people who..."

Try saying "There're" rapidly and you'll understand the slips.
 

mafatu69

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I strongly disagree.

The subject in this sentence is lot - not two lots, but a lot. There is a lot, just like there is a bird. The confusion stems from prepositional phrase that modifies the subject. What kind of lot is it? It is a lot of people. It could also be a lot of food, of cars,of emotion or of emotions, but the subject, lot, is still singular and thus must agree with the singular verb is, not are.

It is not proper English to say, "There are a set of dishes;" rather, "There is a set of dishes". Just the same, "There is a lot of people."

That said, correct English grammar is unfortunately still defined by common usage, and so I believe the technically incorrect wording "There are a lot of people" has become accepted and even, regrettably, correct. In other words, so many people have used and continue to use it improperly that the improper has become proper.

There you have it, charliese (albeit nearly three years late): both are correct.
 

kpira

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Well,
I consulted BRITISH NATIONAL CORPUS and:

There are a lot of... 279
There is a lot of...190


...people:
There are a lot of people: 50
There is a lot of people: 0


Numbers, well. I have got no idea! ;-)
Let's agree: Both are correct ;)
 

David L.

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mafatu69: I strongly disagree.

The subject in this sentence is 'lot'. The expressions 'a lot of' and 'lots of' are used before nouns to mean ‘a large number or amount of.’ In common with other words denoting quantities, 'lot' itself does not normally function as a head noun, meaning that it does not itself determine whether the following verb is singular or plural. Thus, although 'lot' is singular in : 'a lot of people', the verb that follows is not singular. In this case, the word 'people' acts as the head noun and, being plural, ensures that the following verb is also plural: : 'a lot of people were assembled' (not : a lot of people was assembled).
 

Antigol

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But, if I went to The UK or The US, would it be fine if I said either is or are?

Would people look at me in a strange way as if I was a stupid?
 

David L.

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But, if I went to The UK or The US, would it be fine if I said either is or are?
Would people look at me in a strange way as if I was a stupid?

No, they wouldn't.

How your speech is regarded depends on your listener. It seems to me that most people don't listen and think very deeply about the interchanges in ordinary conversation (and with much of the conversation one hears, who can blame them? So it becomes a self-perpetuating circle.) As long as they grasp your meaning...
There are others who will notice because it is at odds with how they would have expressed the same sentiment: your speech may be colloquial but is not grammatically correct.
So you have a choice: what will serve you well among the masses; or using this website to acquire English that will also set you apart from the madding throng when you meet an educated speaker.
 
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tripper1

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I strongly disagree.

The subject in this sentence is lot - not two lots, but a lot. There is a lot, just like there is a bird. The confusion stems from prepositional phrase that modifies the subject. What kind of lot is it? It is a lot of people. It could also be a lot of food, of cars,of emotion or of emotions, but the subject, lot, is still singular and thus must agree with the singular verb is, not are.

It is not proper English to say, "There are a set of dishes;" rather, "There is a set of dishes". Just the same, "There is a lot of people."

That said, correct English grammar is unfortunately still defined by common usage, and so I believe the technically incorrect wording "There are a lot of people" has become accepted and even, regrettably, correct. In other words, so many people have used and continue to use it improperly that the improper has become proper.

There you have it, charliese (albeit nearly three years late): both are correct.

I understand we choose IS or ARE based on the following. Kindly correct me and explain if you think it is not correct. Thanks.

Here/There are false subjects. The subjects in these sentences are therefore after the verb compared to the usual, which is before the verb. In our case here:- Do we not look at the nouns after "a lot of" eg. ?

There are a lot of people. (People/Things = countable, therefore ARE)
There are a lot of things to do.
There is a lot of food. (Food/Money = uncountable, therefore IS)
There is a lot of money in the drawer.

(If the nouns after "at lot of" is countable, we use "ARE" and if the nouns after. is uncountable, we use only "IS"

Looking forward to receive your explanations.
P/s Kindly look at my thread on Prepositions and give your explanations please. Thank you.
 

colloquium

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mafatu69: I strongly disagree.

The subject in this sentence is 'lot'. The expressions 'a lot of' and 'lots of' are used before nouns to mean ‘a large number or amount of.’ In common with other words denoting quantities, 'lot' itself does not normally function as a head noun, meaning that it does not itself determine whether the following verb is singular or plural. Thus, although 'lot' is singular in : 'a lot of people', the verb that follows is not singular. In this case, the word 'people' acts as the head noun and, being plural, ensures that the following verb is also plural: : 'a lot of people were assembled' (not : a lot of people was assembled).

The final point is important. For instance if two sentences are constructed using both methods, problems appear.

There are a lot of people downstairs who were assembled outside the building earlier this morning; they are very angry.

There is a lot of people downstairs who was assembled...

The second sentence (using the singular verb) is obviously incorrect, yet the verbs must agree as they both (in spite of their locations in seperate clauses) refer to the same entity (the people).

How can these two uses be reconsiled when one clearly doesn't work?
 

Raymott

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There are a lot of people downstairs who were assembled outside the building earlier this morning; they are very angry.

There is a lot of people downstairs who was assembled...

The second sentence (using the singular verb) is obviously incorrect, yet the verbs must agree as they both (in spite of their locations in seperate clauses) refer to the same entity (the people).

How can these two uses be reconsiled when one clearly doesn't work?

Easily. You use "who" only for people, not for lots.
There is a lot of people downstairs which was assembled...
That is the grammatical consequence of using "is".
However, "There's a lot people who are ... " is normal in my dialect, though I say "There're a lot of people ..."
 

colloquium

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Easily. You use "who" only for people, not for lots.
There is a lot of people downstairs which was assembled...
That is the grammatical consequence of using "is".
However, "There's a lot people who are ... " is normal in my dialect, though I say "There're a lot of people ..."

Point well taken.

However I, personally, sense a difference in meaning.

Is a lot of people, to me, suggests - one lot of people; a fixed amount, a set.

Are a lot of people, to me, suggests - an undetermined number of people, a large amount, a (potentially) fluctuating, unfixed quantity.

Perhaps this is due to ingrained and incorrect connotations which I myself create.
 

Raymott

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Point well taken.

However I, personally, sense a difference in meaning.

Is a lot of people, to me, suggests - one lot of people; a fixed amount, a set.

Are a lot of people, to me, suggests - an undetermined number of people, a large amount, a (potentially) fluctuating, unfixed quantity.

Perhaps this is due to ingrained and incorrect connotations which I myself create.
I think it's due to the inherent ambiguity of what verb to use in phrases such as this; so even after the teachers and linguists have stopped arguing over it, the masses will still use whatever sounds right on the day. And in cases like this I don't blame them for maybe getting it wrong.
 

bhaisahab

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Point well taken.

However I, personally, sense a difference in meaning.

Is a lot of people, to me, suggests - one lot of people; a fixed amount, a set.

Are a lot of people, to me, suggests - an undetermined number of people, a large amount, a (potentially) fluctuating, unfixed quantity.

Perhaps this is due to ingrained and incorrect connotations which I myself create.

A lot of merchandise.
A lot of antiques etc.
But 'a lot of people' I don't think you can treat 'people' in this way.
 

colloquium

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A lot of merchandise.
A lot of antiques etc.
But 'a lot of people' I don't think you can treat 'people' in this way.

I agree, and that fact adds to my confusion.

This is an example taken from the Cambridge dictionary website

Another lot of visitors will be here this afternoon.

However I feel that Raymott's last post probably sums the issue up fairly well.


 

generalmail4u

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I think below examples extracted from INTERNATIONAL EXPRESS (OXFORD Publisher) can help all of us to define corrrect sentences.

  • There are a lot of popular countries. (Coutry is a count noun)
  • $ 1,000 dollars is a lot of money in Costa Rica. (Money is a mass noun)
Best;-)
 

RonBee

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A lot of people post on this website. Some of those people are reading things or posting things right now.
;-)
 
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