Sunday, August 20, 2006

there's two

Eric Bakovic is looking at semantic and syntactic number with minority and majority. One of the example sentences he brings up begins with there's. The problem with this example is that it's throwing an extra twist into the mix. There's (only the contracted form) agrees with plural nouns more commonly than there are does, at least in spoken British English (I don't have North America data).

Verb agreement is one of the first things that ESL students are usually taught and teachers are regularly exasperated when they don't get it right. In fact, most teachers (myself included) don't really understand the whole system themselves.

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