Use of "there is" and "there are"

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Is it now correct to say "there is alot of people" ?

Surely it must be "there are alot of people".

The former is so often heard on TV these days

that I am wondering if it is now OK>

asked Jan 12 '13 at 17:33 Merlin Leulier New member

4 answers


5

There are a lot of people. ("people" is a countable noun.)

 

There is a lot of food in the fridge. ("food" is an uncountable noun.)

link comment answered Aug 01 '13 at 15:00 Elaine Gan New member
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Use of  'a lot (of)' is a substitution for 'many'. One should say (e.g.) 'there are many people here NOT there is many people here. Unless one is referring to a parking lot try using the description that best suits the object to be modified.

link comment answered Dec 15 '14 at 17:35 Betty E. Braastad New member
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Why is everyone here answering a question that was not asked? I think everyone should go back and read the question and answer. A lot of people don't read the question before they answer.  "Is" vs "are" is the question.

link answered Mar 06 at 07:10 Jacob Deme New member

Reading attentively will allow you to find the answer to an excellent question. Moreover, it is okay to hear one's perspective to a question, it only enriches our own.

Diane CarriereSep 11 at 15:04

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The word "there" shows considerable cross-dialectic variation when it comes to number agreement. In my own regional variety of English, for example, I can always use the singular copula with there, even when the following noun phrase is plural - "There is a lot of people" sounds and reads fine to me, as does "there's two people," even though the singular marker on the existential "there" does not agree with the plurality of "two people."

 

Would I use it in a piece of formal writing? Probably not. But that has little to nothing to do with "correct grammar." If you speak a native language, you have good grammar in that language. The prescriptivist's issue is register, stylistics, and a bit of language imperialism thrown in for good measure, but almost never grammar.

link comment answered Jan 15 '13 at 16:17 Rev. Gerry Turner New member

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