Monday, December 12, 2011


There = (i) used to show that something exists or takes place: ‘There’s a hair in your soup.’ ‘Suddenly there was a loud bang.’ ‘There are two police officers waiting to see you.’ Note: in this pattern there has no meaning. It simply fills the subject position (ii) in that place or location: ‘We will reach there in time.’ ‘I used to live there for last three years.’ (iii) in that respect: ‘His anger was justified there.’ (iv) on that point: ‘I don’t agree with you there.’ (v) used to attract somebody’s attention to a particular thing, person, or fact: ‘There is the house I was telling you about.’

Use there is/was when the following noun is singular/uncountable: ‘There was smoke all over the house.’ Use there are/were when the following noun is plural: ‘There are many times when I would prefer to be alone.’

Note: a lot of, plenty of, etc. do not affect the number of the verb. Compare: ‘There was a lot of traffic on the road.’ ‘There were a lot of cars on the road.’

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