I'm having trouble explaining this to someone:

In a past thread, someone wrote:

both "There IS a cat and a dog in the house" and "There ARE a cat and a dog in the house" are acceptable (correct)

I understand that some grammarians think of "there" as an existential subject and therefore are justified in saying only the former is correct. Certainly, the latter can be made to seem unimpeachable. Does anyone have a link to a reliable reference that treats this question at length? Certainly it's awkward trying to explain why "There IS a cat and a dog" has a grammatical justification and-at the same time-why "A cat and the dog IS in the kichen" does not.

Thanks for the help.
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In BrE, There is a cat and a dog in the house is correct because a singular verb (in this case 'is') has to be used with 'a'.

In AmE, both There are a cat and a dog in the house

and There is a cat and a dog in the house are acceptable.
Thanks Yoong Liat.

Also, does it matter if the situation is existental or locative?

In other words, one is more inclined to use "are" in the locative scenario:

i.e. "THERE are the cat and the dog!" (locative...aka "here they are)

What are your thoughts? (Or anyone else for that matter)

Thanks again
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
and by the way...is it the same for uncountable nouns, i.e., "There is/are sadness and happiness" ??
It doesn't matter in which situation the sentence is used.

Just remember, There is a / the cat ... (BrE)

In AmE, 'is' or 'are' can be used.
In Br English, when we use There is the first noun has to be singular.

Hence, There is sadness and happiness.

If the first noun is plural, then 'are' is used.

There are two cats and a dog.

I hope this helps.
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Yes, it does. Thanks. So, to put this to rest, in American English one could say "There are sadness and happiness" without reproach? Thanks again. That was the last question in this thread I swear. Emotion: wink
I think "There are sadness and happiness" sounds quite odd. I would use "is."
Posting "this sounds odd" is not helpful. Please explain. You are contradicting the other reply.
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