Надежда
How many participants can there be? VS How many participants can be there? Which one is correct?
Jun 20, 2019 9:54 AM
Answers · 7
Hi there, interesting question. It's funny how such a small change in the sentence can change the meaning so much! :) 'How many can there be?' is asking how many can exist in total. 'How many can be there?' is asking how many can be in one place at one time. So in your example: "How many participants can there be?" -> "There can be a total of 50 participants." "How many participants can be there?" -> "Only 10 participants can be there at one time. The other 40 participants will have to wait until the first participants have finished." Let's take the simple example of a football competition. How many football teams can there be? Well, we have the whole day to finish our competition, so there can be lots of teams with no trouble. Let's say we'll have a maximum of 20 teams. How many teams can be [on the football pitch at one time]? (...can be [there]?) Well, only 2 of course! Football is always played between 2 teams; no more and no less. Hope that helps!
June 20, 2019
The first indicates the quantity that are allowed to participate. (There can be 20 participants total) The second focuses on how many will actually attend. (10 of the participants will be there [at the park])
June 20, 2019
Answer below :)
June 20, 2019
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!