Galina
“There is" оr "there are" with enumiration? How is it correct in British English - "there IS a book, two pens and four pencils on the table" or "there ARE a book, two pens and four pencils on the table"? And why? Thanks for advance for your reply:)
Nov 20, 2016 9:11 PM
Answers · 3
Good question. I have spent the last five minutes considering variations of this sentence, and must conclude that they are both acceptable. Hopefully someone smarter than me can explain why.
November 20, 2016
The right answer is ''there are'' I got the answer from here http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/oddness-when-you-start-a-sentence-with-there-is It is simply that we determine the verb according to the subject and the trick here is that ''there'' is not the actual subject where as ''a book, two pens and four pencils'' is the compound subject and as you can see it is plural. You can read it as ''A book, two pens and four pencils are there on the table'' it makes it easier to read that way because you could easily find the real subject for your verb. And to can it even clearer it gave you and example, try replacing the word there (which we just proved not to be the actual subject) with the word ''Bob'' ... Bob is a book, two pens and four pencils.. here I am making a statement that Bob is actually a book and .... no matter what the subject is Bob that is a singular subject so it will always get ''is'' Hope this makes sense and answers your question ^-^
November 20, 2016
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Galina
Language Skills
English, German, Russian
Learning Language
English, German