+0
Who can explain to me why we sometimes hear "there's a lot of people" instead of "there are a lot of people", especially on films and some tv programmes? Can we accept it as correct informal language?
1 2
Comments  
Well, "There's a lot of people" isn't really correct, as far as I know. You're talking about more than one person, so you would use "are" instead of "is". Unless you're talking about a physical "lot" of people, like if you have a bunch of slaves, and you group them as a "lot"...in that case, since they were being referred to as one "lot" or entity, you could say, "There is a lot of people up for auction," or something like that. But slavery is an ugly thing, so let's hope that's not what they're talking about...
thanks.Emotion: smile
Try out our live chat room.
It should be "There are a lot of people..." (count noun)
"There is a lot of sugar..." (noncount noun)
Some native speakers use a singular verb even when the subject is plural, as in "There's some books on the shelf." This is fairly frequent, but it is not generally considered to be grammatically correct.Emotion: wink
Lot as in group at an auction. Say lot 25. Lot is a collective noun. Therefore we say there is a lot of people. Not many know this and it is not what is said colloquially. There are lots of people.
There are a lot of people here. (googlehits: 3,820,000)
There's a lot of people here. (googlehits: 3,140,000)
There's lots of people here. (googlehits: 771,000)
There are lots of people here. (googlehits: 2,680,000)

You'll hear them all. I recommend that you give up on concord in this case.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Charlotte,
Yes, we can accept it quite nicely as correct informal language!
"there's" (much more than "there is", by the way) is becoming neutral as to number.
As time goes on, it's quite possible that "there are" will drop out of the spoken language.
As it is now, in everyday conversation you will hear either "there's" or "there are" with a plural form.
CJ
We had this debate very recently.

I think that, even when people will use the correct plural form in writing, we tend to use 'there's in speech' purely for the reason that it is easy to say whereas 'there're' is quite tricky.
Who can explain to me why we sometimes hear "there's a lot of people" instead of "there are a lot of people", especially on films and some tv programmes? Can we accept it as correct informal language?


Absolutely we can. There are a number of theories as to why ENLs choose the singular form with plurals, Nona offered one.

But, "{W}hatever the reason, in a study of spoken discourse, Celce-Murcia and Hudson (1981) confirmed that predominates in informal speech, even when a plural noun phrase follows the verb." {The Grammar Book, page 448}

This "informal speech" included that associated with {for Andrei} post graduate students and their professors, both BrE and AmE speakers.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Show more