Где подлежащее в обороте there is?

Модераторы: JamesTheBond, zymbronia

Где подлежащее в предложении 'There is a cat under the table'?

'there'
4
18%
'a cat'
7
32%
здесь два подлежащих – 'there' и 'a cat'
1
5%
не знаю
1
5%
это совершенно не нужно для понимания оборота
9
41%
 
Всего голосов: 22

Easy-Breezy English
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#51

Сообщение Easy-Breezy English »

Yety пишет: 28 апр 2019, 16:22 The way I was taught about the subject-verb agreement with expletive there is/are is that the choice of is or are depends on the number of the first following noun:
There IS a couch and a few chairs in the room V. There ARE a few chairs and a couch in the room.
It is considered informal by some:

Other grammar books state that the above rules are only for informal English. They say that in formal English, you should always use a plural verb with a series of nouns, even if the first noun is singular. Consider Azar’s Understanding and Using English Grammar, which states: “Sometimes in informal English, a singular verb is used after there when the first of two subjects connected by and is singular. For example:
Formal: There are a book and a pen on the desk.
Informal: There is a book and a pen on the desk.”

Check out the ensuing discussion, too. Quite curious.

There are a book and a pen on the desk sounds quite odd to me. But then again, who am I to judge. Anyway, I found this explanation as to why a singular verb is more natural quite interesting:

"... pressure toward agreement between an inflected verb and the linearly closest NP is attested in the human language-processing mechanism.
Of course, speakers would generally not judge sentences like A dog and a cat is in the yard as
acceptable, so why should they judge There’s a dog and a cat in the yard as natural? ... I suggest that this
is due to a combination of the general tendency toward local agreement plus the temporary
ambiguity induced by having the verb precede the relevant NP.
... in (16a) there is a point at which all one has heard/read is There is/are a book... This temporary ambiguity makes plural agreement with a singular
first conjunct sound initially bad, and singular agreement sound correct; apparently, our judgment
system never fully recovers from this preliminary impression." [Emphasis mine]

(*16a There’s/is/are a book and a pen on the desk.)

I personally suggest just sticking with there's at all times. Problem solved. :-)
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Yety
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#52

Сообщение Easy-Breezy English »

Yety пишет: 28 апр 2019, 16:22
The other beef of mine with the author's recommendation to avoid expletives as 'bad taste/poor style' can definitely be explained by the fact that the blog is an excerpt from her better-writing manual:
Mignon Fogarty is Grammar Girl and the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips.
Check out her New York Times best-seller, “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.”
СпойлерПоказать
Many sources say that expletive sentences are bad style and should be avoided, but I think that advice is extreme, especially in fiction.
...
Nevertheless, you can often rewrite expletive sentences to make them more straightforward, and you can see from our earlier example how easy it is to get rid of the word "there" and rephrase the sentence.

"There are a couch and a coffee table in the room" easily becomes "A couch and a coffee table are in the room." If you want to go wild, you could even use a more descriptive verb and write, "A couch and a coffee table sit in the room," or "A couch and a coffee table grace the room."

When you're editing your work and find a sentence that starts with "there are" or "there is," it's worth spending an extra second to check whether rewording it would make your writing better. Often it does.
"Литературщина", like I said.)
Well, it just dilutes the power of your writing, is all. I think it's not so much the expletives as such, but rather using stative verbs instead of active:

Weak: There was a mean looking dog on the porch.
Better: A mean looking dog was growling menacingly on the porch.

However, you are right in calling this литературщина. In speech it is often preferable to be less direct and imposing.
Последний раз редактировалось Easy-Breezy English 28 апр 2019, 17:57, всего редактировалось 1 раз.
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Yety
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acapnotic
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#53

Сообщение acapnotic »

Easy-Breezy English пишет: 28 апр 2019, 17:22 I personally suggest just sticking with there's at all times. Problem solved. :-)
Would be if I could forget that the 's' stands for 'is', but I can't. And I am likely not alone.
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#54

Сообщение Easy-Breezy English »

acapnotic пишет: 28 апр 2019, 17:57
Easy-Breezy English пишет: 28 апр 2019, 17:22 I personally suggest just sticking with there's at all times. Problem solved. :-)
Would be if I could forget that the 's' stands for 'is', but I can't. And I am likely not alone.
I wasn't being entirely serious, you know? :-)
However, I have to admit that I find it hard to always remember to use the right form myself unless I’m writing. Even though this constant there’s for everything used to drive me crazy a few years ago. It’s just gotten SO common. This stuff grows on you once you stop analyzing.
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#55

Сообщение JamesTheBond »

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