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I need your opinion on "there":

A few grammar books carried by ESL students suggest that "there is" only takes indefinite articles such as "a/an", as in "There is an apple".
Anything else, such as "the, my, our, his", is not supposed to come after "there is".

Therefore:
There is the book I was looking for.
There is his mother.
There is my car.
... these are all "exceptional uses" according to what they say.

I have never heard of this rule/restriction on "there is" and it completely throws me off.
I see a lot of sentences on the internet which simply use "the , my, our" after "there is", and cannot find any articles or footnotes on this rule in the dictionaries I look into.

Question:
Is this true? Have you ever heard or seen such restriction? If so, can someone indicate the rationale behind it?

Any input is greatly appreciated.
Even "never heard of it, never paid attention" would help a lot.

Thanks in advance.
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Comments  
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It is generally true for existential 'there'-- where 'there' carries no meaning: There's a delivery man here.

The counter-examples you offer are for the adverbial 'there', a location: There's my car over on that side of the street.

However, I don't think the rule is absolute at all: Who can help me with my homework?-- Well, there's your brother.
.
My advice is that there are two senses of "there is," and the rule applies to only one of them. (I'm not an expert on what ESL students carry, although I'm working on it.)

The first one means something like, "This thing happens to exist." "There is a town in Pennsylvania called 'Blue Balls.' " "There is only one thing my father refused to eat."

The second one means something like, "Look! Do you see what I see?" "There's the snake I've been trying to tell you about." "There's my mother. I hope she brought the money!"

While both senses seek to call our attention to something, the second one is demonstrative, while the first merely asserts its existence, like the French "il y'a."

- A.
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Mister Micawber.
It is generally true for existential 'there'-- where 'there' carries no meaning: There's a delivery man here.

The counter-examples you offer are for the adverbial 'there', a location: There's my car over on that side of the street.

However, I don't think the rule is absolute at all: Who can help me with my homework?-- Well, there's your brother.
.

Thanks Mister Micawber:
I am surprised to know 'it is generally true".

There's a delivery man here.
>> I am not challenging you or anything but what if I say "There is the delivery man (who always comes in a brown UPS truck at the same time everyday)"?
In this case "the" implies that we sort of know the delivery guy because he comes here everyday.

Your second example means "there" as opposed to "here". That makes sense.

You don't think the rule is absolute at all. I fully agree with you in case there is such rule. Would you say "there is the/my/your" is indeed "exceptional use"?

Thanks.
jazzmasterA few grammar books carried by ESL students suggest that "there is" only takes indefinite articles such as "a/an", as in "There is an apple".
Anything else, such as "the, my, our, his", is not supposed to come after "there is".
My brief opinion: those are the kinds of books you should avoid reading. Unfortunately, there's a lot of 'em. Emotion: wink
AvangiMy advice is that there are two senses of "there is," and the rule applies to only one of them. (I'm not an expert on what ESL students carry, although I'm working on it.)

The first one means something like, "This thing happens to exist." "There is a town in Pennsylvania called 'Blue Balls.' " "There is only one thing my father refused to eat."

The second one means something like, "Look! Do you see what I see?" "There's the snake I've been trying to tell you about." "There's my mother. I hope she brought the money!"

While both senses seek to call our attention to something, the second one is demonstrative, while the first merely asserts its existence, like the French "il y'a."

- A.

Thanks for coming by again, Avangi.

With your and Mr. M's explanations, it is getting clearer and clearer that there are two senses to "there". It must be the "existence" one that I am talking about.

The example Mr. M gave me : "There's your brother ..." makes a lot of sense, too. So my feeling is "Although in many cases "there is the ..." do not make any sense, however, in the cases where you can make a sentence, you are welcome to use it". What do you think?

Also, Avangi, please do not feel obliged, but I would be grateful if you could give me a word or two on my previous post "Whom or Who?": http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/WhomOrWho/gkzjc/post.htm

Thank you very much.
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Kooyeen
jazzmasterA few grammar books carried by ESL students suggest that "there is" only takes indefinite articles such as "a/an", as in "There is an apple".
Anything else, such as "the, my, our, his", is not supposed to come after "there is".
My brief opinion: those are the kinds of books you should avoid reading. Unfortunately, there's a lot of 'em.

Thanks for coming by, Kooyeen.

"those are the kinds of books you should avoid reading"
... you know what? I could not agree with you more. You got that right. What a crap. Those books are beginning to evolve around themselves and started making up their own rules. I feel very sorry for those who are being taught with those books.

Thanks again.
(FYI, the town is Blue Ball, in the singular. I drive through it when I go to Hershey Park.

What we find more amusing is that Paradise is quite close to Intercourse, which is just down Rt. 340 from Bird-in-Hand. Those Amish!)

jazzmaster - just say "what crap" not "what a crap."

Lastly, maybe it would help if you thought about "There is your brother" or "There's that purse I've been wanting to buy" as "Hey look! Over there" to reinforce the "where?" aspect of that form of "there."
jazzmaster I feel very sorry for those who are being taught with those books.
I used to learn from those books and listen to teachers who teach those "rules" too, until I literally got mad and decided I'd had enough of that cr... garbage. Now I only try to learn from native speakers. The truth is some books and teachers really overgeneralize, and turn fact that are usually true for contextual reasons into inaccurate "rules" for ESL learners, turning "sometimes" into "always" or "never". Or even worse, teaching rules that don't reflect the actual modern usage of English. But that's another story. Emotion: smile

I would say THERE can indicate "existence" (as in "There's a spider, eww!"), or can indicate location (as in "It's over there" or "There it is - There's my wallet", where "there" would be stressed). I wouldn't consider any other rule about articles or anything. Here's an example I think is perfectly ok:
What's in your garage? - Oh, nothing. There's an old car... and there's the old bike you sold me, remember? Oh, and there's my collection of dead bodies too! Ooops, I said too much...

As always, I might well be mistaken. I am not a native speaker, so I can only give an opinion based on what I learned and what I "feel". Emotion: smile
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