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Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Which do you prefer? 

Is or Are?
Poll ended at Wed May 07, 2008 2:09 pm
Is 50%  50%  [ 2 ]
Are 50%  50%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 4

Which do you prefer? 
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MES-Zealot!

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Post Which do you prefer?
Had a discussion with North Americans (We are Kiwis) about this and have a difference of opinion.

Is or Are
`There is trash and lots of cans littering the park.`
`There are trash and lots of cans littering the park.`

`Is` sounded right to me but there is more than one thing so `are` could be right.
I would go with `There are lots of cans and trash littering the park.`

What would you use?


Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:09 pm
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Simon,

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't your question a matter of differences in grammar?

Amer E: The government IS...
Brit E: The government ARE...

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:54 pm
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I am from NZ (British Eng) but "IS" sounds much better to me


Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:25 pm
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I'm Australian and would probably say "are". Except I wouldn't ever say "trash". The word here is "rubbish".


Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:41 pm
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I believe BE also doesn't use 'cans' but rather 'bins'. ;)

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:18 pm
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There are number of areas like this which can cause problems in writing and teaching (casual social speaking is another matter).

In this case "There is lots of cans" really doesn't work, so choosing between "is" "are", I'd have to choose "are", even though it's still a little ambiguous.

If it were important to avoid any hint of grammatical ambiguity, you could restructure the sentence, avoiding the problem. For example:

"There's lots of trash littering the park, including a lot of cans."

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Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:22 pm
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i think "are" is the correct way... and now, in this two particular cases whta do you think?

"there is lots of people"
"there are lots of people"

????


Sun May 25, 2008 4:34 am
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There is a lot of people?

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Sun May 25, 2008 11:08 am
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I reckon this is one of the most common "errors" in native speaker English. "There's lots of people waiting outside", "There's not enough pieces of chocolate for everybody." Maybe in time it won't even be considered an error any more?

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Mon May 26, 2008 7:00 am
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Post 
Isn't it just that verb agreement is associated with the concept and not the name we call it?

When we think of the object as a whole, we realise that verbally as singular. When we think of it as made up of individual parts we consider the item plural even though it's structually singular.

There's also the case where we see verb agreement with the first noun.
"There is a chair, a book and a desk in the room."

While in writing we fiddle with these sentences to make them fit prescribed grammar rules, the fact is that grammar is an explanation of speech patterns. It doesn't govern them.

Back to the question,
"there is lots of people" sounds wrong to me. Both lots and people are plural. The concept is plural in both cases.

"there are lots of people" sounds fine to me

"There are a lot of people." also sounds fine to me as well. Again, it's the idea that there are many people that governs the usage of is/are

"There is a lot of people." sounds wrong but I know that it's grammatically correct. In a question or negative form it really sounds strange "Is there a lot of people." "There isn't a lot of people."

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Mon May 26, 2008 9:49 am
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Post 
Here's a battle between "There is a lot" and "There are a lot"

"There are a lot" is the winner.

Add in "of" to that battle and "There are a lot of" becomes the obvious winner.

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Mon May 26, 2008 12:41 pm
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