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While my friend strongly feels that it should be "is" in the following sentence, I feel, grammar demands that it ought to be "are"

1. There is/are a cooler and a cooker in the room.

2. There is/are a letter for Jane and a message for Christy.


In the first sentence, there are two things --- a cooler and a cooker. My argument, therefore, is the verb should be "are"? If "is" is correct, then, what about in the following sentences?

3. There ____ a ruler, a pencil, an eraser, a sharpener and a nail clipper on the table.

4.Sgt John: "Cpl Mary, have we found anything that would be of interest to us?"

Cpl Mary: "Well, there ___ a letter to James, a message on the fridge for his son, Vincent, a pen knife on the floor and some marbles in the chair".


Please help clear my doubts.
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SelvakumarWhile my friend strongly feels that it should be "is" in the following sentence, I feel, grammar demands that it ought to be "are"

1. There is/are a cooler and a cooker in the room.

2. There is/are a letter for Jane and a message for Christy.


In the first sentence, there are two things --- a cooler and a cooker. My argument, therefore, is the verb should be "are"? If "is" is correct, then, what about in the following sentences?

3. There ____ a ruler, a pencil, an eraser, a sharpener and a nail clipper on the table.

4.Sgt John: "Cpl Mary, have we found anything that would be of interest to us?"

Cpl Mary: "Well, there ___ a letter to James, a message on the fridge for his son, Vincent, a pen knife on the floor and some marbles in the chair".


Please help clear my doubts.
Technically, I believe, the plural should be used. Most of us do not use it, however. I'll be watching what the "experts" have to say about this, as the question came up in my camp just recently.
I don't know what verb native speakers would use but I would say ARE.
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'is', every time. 'are' sounds odd, if not ungrammatical, to me. i would also write 'is'.

SelvakumarWhile my friend strongly feels that it should be "is" in the following sentence, I feel, grammar demands that it ought to be "are"

depends what you mean by 'grammar' - a term with various meanings.

any comprehensive grammar (a book describing some linguistic grammar) worth its salt will have something to say on subj.-verb concord with existential 'there' (them's the search terms, btw). if yours doesn't, burn it.

sam
Selvakumar, sorry, I was wrong!

I have just read in an English Grammar text-book that it is correct to use IS there. Absolutely!!!

And you should use IS in the examples #3 and #4, too.

:-)
YOU win.

When you have there plus verb plus subject, the verb agrees with the subject as you suspected..

If the subject is plural, use are. If the subject is singular, use is.

There ARE a cooker and a cooler in the room. (a cooker and a cooler-subject; are-verb.

Ikia
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I think I'd say "there is":

1. There is a cooler and (there is) a cooker in the room.

MrP
MrPedanticI think I'd say "there is":

1. There is a cooler and (there is) a cooker in the room.

MrP

I don't know if your "understood repetition" of the intro is correct or not, but it's going to be the reason I offer in the future. Thanks much, MrP!
Selvakumar
While my friend strongly feels that it should be "is" in the following sentence, I feel, grammar demands that it ought to be "are"
1. There is/are a cooler and a cooker in the room.
In the first sentence, there are two things --- a cooler and a cooker. My argument, therefore, is the verb should be "are"? If "is" is correct, then, what about in the following sentences?Hello guys

We have talked about this issue twice or three times as far as I know. But I'd like to put some tips I've got since the last time.

First of all, I'd like to quote what is written in CGEL by Quirk et al. It discussed this in the section of "existential there".

It (= the there of existential sentences) often determines concord, governing a singular form of the verb even when the following 'notional subject' is plural.
"There's some people in the waiting people" (informal)
occurs alongside
"There are some people in the waiting people".

Quirk didn't distinguish "presentational there" from "existential there". According to Ward and Birner (1993), the version of "there is" can be allowed to plural notional subjects even in formal speech when the construct is used as an answer to a question which demands a list of items.
  (OK) "Who was at the party last night?" "There was Jim, MrP, Pieanne, Khoff and Ruslana".
  (??) "There was Jim, MrP, Pieanne, Khoff and Ruslana at the party I went to last night".

paco
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