Tag Archives: there are

Finding the Subject With “There is” or “Here is” Sentences

There is a million different reasons why you should finish your assignments as soon as possible.

Here is the recipes for the cookbook you are compiling for our children’s school fundraiser.

I see and hear sentences like these frequently. They contain an agreement problem. The subjects of the sentences are reasons and recipes, respectively. Both are plurals. But the introductory parts, There is and Here is, are both singular. You’re going to need There are and Here are. You can also use There’s or Here’s if the subject is singular.

When sentences start with There is, There are, Here is, Here are, the subject is always going to be the first noun following the introductory clause. The subjects are never There or Here. Therefore, if you use this construction, find the subject by looking at the first noun after it and use There is or There are and Here is or Here are accordingly. Easy, right?

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What’s Wrong With These Sentences?

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© Judi Birnberg                     Here’s a collage I made when I was 16.

There is a million different reasons why you should finish your assignments as soon as possible.

Here is/Here’s the recipes for the cookbook your are compiling for our children’s school fundraiser.

I see and hear sentences like these frequently. They contain an agreement problem. The subjects of the sentences are reasons and recipes, respectively. Both are plurals. But the introductory parts, There is and Here is, are both singular. You’re going to need There are and Here are. You can also use There’s or Here’s if the subject is singular.

Incidentally, when sentences start with There is, There are, Here is, Here are, the subject is always going to be the first noun following those introductory clauses. The subjects are never There or Here. Therefore, if you use this construction, find the subject by looking at the first noun after it and use There is or There are and Here is or Here are accordingly. Easy, right?

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Subject First?

The most common sentence pattern in English is subject + verb + direct object (S+V+DO).  For instance, The dog chewed the bone. But sometimes it’s more interesting to vary the pattern and put the verb first:  Down the street ran the dog.

Try to avoid starting sentences with There is, There are, Here is, Here are.  But if you do use one of those constructions, be aware that the subject is not There or Here.  It will always be the first noun or pronoun after it:

       There is someone knocking at the door.

       Here are the reports you asked for.

       There are two dogs fighting over the bone.

       Here is the book you asked to borrow.

 

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