How do you say... Question

In English, how do you say...?

Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 13/09/18

More details:

Hello!

I'm a little bit confused :). Could you help me to figure out when to use 'there is' and when 'there are'?

In English textbooks we are taught  to use 'there is' every time when a singular countable noun comes first, for example, 'There is a lamp and two books on the table.' However, as I understand, when we talk about 'a lamp and two books' and want to use a pronoun, we need to use 'they', so, it means that the right way to say, 'There are a lamp and two books on the table.' 

But when we have two and more uncountable nouns together, for instance, salt and sugar, should we say, 'There is salt and sugar on the table'?


Thank you in advance!



Answers

There is OR There are

1 Translation

1
There is - is perfectly acceptable (most people would use this in spoken language) but there are - is grammatically more correct.

Additional info:

There is  - is perfectly acceptable (most people would use this in spoken language) but there are - is grammatically more correct.

Comments

Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 14/09/18

Hello, Paul!

Paul, I'm happy to see your answer! Thank you very much for your help! 

David Luff David Luff (1) on 28/09/18

Alice, as Paul said, people often say "there is" when "there are" is grammatically correct.  When I am tempted to write "there is" when I know "there are" is correct, I change the sentence from "there is salt and sugar on the table" to "Salt and sugar is/are on the table.  I would never say "salt and sugar is on the table" so why would I say "there is salt and sugar on the table?" 

Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 01/10/18

David, thank you for your comment! 

It's really helpful to change sentences if you, I mean non-English speakers, are not sure whether to use 'there is' or 'there are'.


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