+0
Hi,
Im confused.
A local English teacher at the school im working at in Hong Kong asked me this today....

"Should it be, there IS some noodles in the bowl, or, there ARE some noodles in the bowl"

My instict was 'oh this is an easy question', until I started to think about it.
The way I look at it, 'noodles' is a collective term for more than one noodle, so it's plural, so it should be 'ARE'.
But the more I thought about it the more 'there IS some noodles in the bowl' sounded correct also, but IS is used more commonly for singular, right?, e.g There IS a noodle in that bowl --> There ARE some noodles in that bowl.............make sense?

But what about - There IS some rice --> There ARE some rice. Doesn't work becasue rice in this instance is 'uncountable', right? But surely the noodles are uncountable aswell, is it simply because of the 'es' ending that you can use ARE?

I found a similar question on this forum from a couple of years ago, debating whether you should use 'IS' or 'ARE' when refering to a company, e.g British Coal IS proposing a new deal, or British Coal ARE proposing a new deal etc etc.......but it didn't really answer my question.

It seems a stupid quesiton, but perhaps it's only when a non-native speaker asks, you actually ever think about these things!?

Basically, what is the rule (if there is one) for using IS and ARE ???

Thanks in advance.

Nick
1 2
Comments  
Hi,

Say There ARE some noodles in the bowl. You could count them if you really, really, really tried.

We say there are a lot of grains of sand on the beachalthough it would be a bit lengthy to actually count them. Emotion: smile

Best wishes, Clive
Easy.
Only "there are some noodles" is good English.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I found a similar question on this forum from a couple of years ago, debating whether you should use 'IS' or 'ARE' when refering to a company, e.g British Coal IS proposing a new deal, or British Coal ARE proposing a new deal etc etc.......but it didn't really answer my question.

British Coal IS proposing a new deal. (when you're referring to the company as an entity)

British Coal ARE proposing a new deal. (when you're referring to the people in the company)
In my opinion, no one would bat an eyelash if, in an ordinary, informal conversation, you said, using the contracted form:

There's some noodles in the bowl.

In everyday conversation, there's has come to be quite common for pointing out the existence or presence of something, whether singular or plural, at least in AmE -- and especially with some or a lot of and similar expressions.

There's plenty of people who will disagree on that point.
There's a lot of people gathering in the square.
There's several ways to fix this car.
There's some interesting books available on the subject.


However, the plural There are ... is the technically correct form, and this is the form I would recommend using, no matter what you hear others say!

CJ
Thank you all for your very helpful information!

The point about the contracted form definitely makes sense, if someone asked me if there was any noodles in that bowl, it seems much more natural in conversational English to say 'Yes, there's some noodles in there' as opposed to 'Yes, there ARE some noodles in there'.

But it's the technically correct form that I was looking for so 'There ARE some noodles in the bowl' it is then.

Nick
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Is it necessary to put "some" in front of the uncountable noun?

Can I say "There is water." or I should say "There is some water."?

How about non-substance, like "information", "usage", etc?

For example,

There is information.
There is some information.
There is no information.
Is there any information?
There is such kind of information.
Is there such kind of information?
There is usage.
There is some usage.
There is no usage.
Is there any usage?
There is such kind of usage.
Is there such kind of usage?
azargrammaIs it necessary to put "some" in front of the uncountable noun?
Yes and no. Consider these:
Can I borrow some sugar ? I just ran out. Option: A cup o sugar.

There is some left-over fried rice in the fridge from last night. Help yourself if you are hungry. Option: There is a box of fried rice
I have some time this weekend if you need help on your computer.
Some - is a quantifier for uncountable meaning an unspecified amount.
Thank you, grammarfreak.

Do you mean the following sentences are incorrect?Emotion: smile

There is water.
There is information.
There is usage.

Can I use the noun stand-alone?
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more