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There (Preparatory/introductory subject/dummy subject) Options
A cooperator
Posted: Friday, December 01, 2017 6:50:33 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,405
Neurons: 8,765
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Hi Everyone!


As far as I know 'there' and 'it' can be called dumb subjects.
However, I read "There" is quite often used as a preparatory subject with modal verbs, especially when these are followed by "be".
But, I don't know if 'there' or 'it' can be used with singular or plural ordinary auxiliary or main verb.

There may be rain later today.


Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
NKM
Posted: Friday, December 01, 2017 11:33:09 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,186
Neurons: 192,114
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
"There" and "it" are two very different idiomatic ways to start a clause.

"It " is a true dummy subject when used to start a clause about weather or environmental conditions. As such, it is a singular pronoun, and thus calls for a singular verb form.
- It rained last night.
- It stopped snowing almost as soon as it had started.
- It gets dark early during the winter.


"There" is a dummy adverb, not a noun or pronoun, so it is not really a "subject" at all. It cannot be either singular or plural; the verb will be singular or plural according to the real subject of the clause that follows it.
- There was an accident on the highway.
- There are several ways to get the job done.
- There came a time when we had to decide what to do.


A cooperator
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 8:03:47 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,405
Neurons: 8,765
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
NKM wrote:
"There" and "it" are two very different idiomatic ways to start a clause.

"It " is a true dummy subject when used to start a clause about weather or environmental conditions. As such, it is a singular pronoun, and thus calls for a singular verb form.
- It rained last night.
- It stopped snowing almost as soon as it had started.
- It gets dark early during the winter.


"There" is a dummy adverb, not a noun or pronoun, so it is not really a "subject" at all. It cannot be either singular or plural; the verb will be singular or plural according to the real subject of the clause that follows it.
- There was an accident on the highway.
- There are several ways to get the job done.
- There came a time when we had to decide what to do.



Thanks a lot, NKM
But, neither do I think that "several ways" is a subject, nor do I think that "an accident" is a subject. I think they are both identifiers since "to be" doesn't have an object. So, the verb agrees with the identifiers, and not with dummy subject "there".
I never ever heard that a verb agrees with what comes after it. On the contrary, a verb always agrees with the subject.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
A cooperator
Posted: Thursday, December 07, 2017 6:15:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,405
Neurons: 8,765
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Could anyone please reply to me?
But, neither do I think that "several ways" is a subject, nor do I think that "an accident" is a subject. I think they are both identifiers since "to be" doesn't have an object. So, the verb agrees with the identifiers, and not with dummy subject "there".
I never ever heard that a verb agrees with what comes after it. On the contrary, a verb always agrees with the subject.

Also, why is the verb here in the statement below a singular although "a lot" following verb.
There’s a lot to consider when designing an online ad, such as the target audience, marketing objectives and brand experience. Create ads that address all these factors and stand out from the online noise.


Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
NKM
Posted: Friday, December 08, 2017 5:52:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,186
Neurons: 192,114
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
A cooperator wrote:
Could anyone please reply to me?
But, neither do I think that "several ways" is a subject, nor do I think that "an accident" is a subject. I think they are both identifiers since "to be" doesn't have an object. So, the verb agrees with the identifiers, and not with dummy subject "there".
I never ever heard that a verb agrees with what comes after it. On the contrary, a verb always agrees with the subject.

Also, why is the verb here in the statement below a singular although "a lot" following verb.
There’s a lot to consider when designing an online ad, such as the target audience, marketing objectives and brand experience. Create ads that address all these factors and stand out from the online noise.

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You may call them "identifiers", but they are indeed the subjects of their respective clauses. Whatever you call them, you're right that they do govern whether the associated verb needs to be singular or plural.

A verb does indeed agree with its subject, even when the subject comes after the verb. 
- "After the rain comes a rainbow; after the autumn come the storms of winter."



"A lot  ", by itself, is usually singular, as in "There's a lot to consider." But "a lot of  " can be either singular or plural, according to what follows it.
- "A lot of food goes to waste, even while a lot of people go hungry."

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