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. :)

Would you like an answer without waiting?

You can answer all your grammar questions yourself and in the comfort of your own home?

How? It is simple. Get a copy of
Practical English Usage, by Michael Swan.

I can honestly say that this grammar reference guide is the best I have ever used and I use it daily answering all of your grammar questions; including this question.

Why wait for my answer? When the answer is just a page number away?

Get this book now and start solving your grammar questions!

Click on the image above to buy the book safely and quickly through

Have a wonderful day!

- Diana :)

Click here to post comments

Return to ask your grammar questions here..

Still looking?  Search the site for exactly what you need using the site search box below.

Happy exploring!

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Discover these Amazing ESL Materials!

It's English Time! English Express! 5 Simple Steps to Better Writing! English Harmony 2.0! Pronunciation Power!
Effortless English! Best Accent Training! Ola Zur! English Grammar Revolution! English Success

Sign-up For The Learn English Newsletter

Your E-mail Address
Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Learn English Newsletter.