there is ...

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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there is ...

Post by SARDORBEK » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:11 pm

a) There _____ a man, a lady and some children in the park.
The blank should be filled with is or are ???

In some grammar books, I've read the following sentences:

b) There's a chair and a table in the room.
c) There's a chair and two tables in the room.
d) There are two tables and a chair in the room.

I don't have any doubt on d) but as to a),b),c)
Please,could YOU explain the rule from a point of strictly grammatical view
and in terms of formality?

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Re: there is ...

Post by Alan » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:51 am

'Are' is correct here.

Essentially any compound subject justifies a plural verb, but where a number of singular subjects are combined, a singular verb may stand by virtue of ellipsis, as in

There was a man, (there was) a boy and and (there was) old lady in the room.

(implied elements in brackets).