'THERE BE' CONSTRUCTION
September 11, 2011
I'll be grateful if you help me on the following question.
A book and a pencil are on the table.
In the sentence, the subject is indefinite, so the meaning is clumsy. The sentence is gramatically correct but not used in English. To get a better way of expression we use 'There be' pattern.
People say, ' There is a book and a pencil on the desk.' But it should be 'There are a book and a pencil on the desk.' Because the comlement 'a book and a pencil' is plural.
Which sentence crammatically correct?
Please help me.
Hasan, I recommend " Grammar for English Language Teachers" by Martin Parrott, published by Cambridge University Press, which says on this issue:
" In spoken English many people simplify the grammar and use 'there is' instead of 'there are' with plural headwords, and this is increasingly common in the written language..."
So, there's a book and a pencil on the desk" sounds ok to my ear!
|link||answered Sep 11 '11 at 05:51 Mark Heyne Expert|
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