Does there is only so many places sound natural? In the film, Titanic, Cal gets mad because his fiancee went missing and his manservant reports him that none of the stewards have seen her. He shouts in anger, "This is absurd. It's a ship. There's only so many places she could be." He said "There IS only so MANY places", but I think it should be "There ARE only so FEW places" because a ship has limited number of places. Could you possibly explain about this? Thanks in advance.
May 10, 2016 10:57 PM
Answers · 3
Since it's a movie, we can only partially use the excuse that he is angry. We often take shortcuts and make mistakes when we speak out of anger or extreme emotion.
May 11, 2016
You are right up to a point: it should indeed be "There ARE .. places ...". But "so many" is fine here -- "so" is not being used as an intensifier, meaning "very many", but rather with a comparative meaning, in this case compared to some implicit limit. So the sentence means "There are only a limited number of places she could be".
May 11, 2016
Cal's quote is him being sarcastic, the titanic was a huge ship but it was just a ship after all not a whole country. She couldn't of gotten far as there is only so many places she can be. He could of also said, "why cant anyone find her? there isn't that many places that she could be''. The way you said it also is nearly correct, "There are only a few places" the other way the sentence is written is from a sarcastic point of view.
May 10, 2016
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!