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Rules and Restrictions for using "There is/are"

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Rules and Restrictions for using "There is/are"

Post by Nerve » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:20 pm

When using "There is/are..." you usually have to refer to a place.

"There are 7 people IN THIS HOUSE."
"There are 6 strings ON THE GUITAR."

Of course you can use ellipsis but it still means that using "There are/is.." is referring to a place.

I have thought of an exception. When you use an infinitive verb.
"There are 52 stickers TO COLLECT."
"There are many English rules TO LEARN"
But only certain verbs work like this.....

So what is the rule that governs whether a verb can be used with "There are/is"
Also, are there anymore exceptions I haven`t thought about when using "There are/is" ?

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Re: Rules and Restrictions for usings "There is/are"

Post by Alan » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:50 am

If you think it through, a place of some kind is probably always at least implied (52 stickers to collect in the world, etc.)

I wouldn't worry about this point too much: common sense will tend to supply the implication even where strict ellipsis does not!