Usage of "there"
by Thomas Ting
(1) "There is a dog and 2 cats." In this sentence, what kind of subject-verb agreement is this? Or it is just an elliptical construction!
(2) "There comes an old man." In this sentence, is 'there' an adverb or impersonal subject (pronoun)?
Hi Thomas, I'm going to be honest here. I really am not a grammar God (or Goddess) but I have looked up the information and here is what I found.
1) This isn't an elliptical construction as an elliptical construction is a construction that lacks an element that is recoverable or inferable from the context. For example, "Fire when ready" means "Fire when you are ready". See LinguaLinks
The "there" in your first example is simply an adverb of place or presence. You are stating that there is a dog and two cats. They are present.
2) I believe you would need to use “here” rather than “there” in this example. "Here comes an old man". If you wanted to use "there" it would have to be in the sense of leaving or passing by, "There goes an old man". When you use “here”, it has a connotation of coming to you; where as “there goes” refers to someone leaving or passing by.
If anyone else has anything to add I would really appreciate it. :)
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