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"There is" in relative clauses Options
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 2:59:20 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 10/10/2012
Posts: 102
Neurons: 491
Hello everybody!

Recently, while speaking, I stumbled over a relative clause in which I was going to use 'there is' construction to predicate existence (or rather non-existence) and was confused with the syntax of such a clause.

I was going to sort of combine two sentences similar to these

You are talking about things. There aren't such things.

I realised I wasn't sure what the result would be. I have now different options:

1) You are talking about things there aren't.
2) You are talking about things that aren't there.
3) You are talking about things that aren't.

Please, comment on your opinion about those three. Are any of them utterly wrong? Are there stylistic differences? Which one would you personally prefer?

I did a little research, so to speak, and found different syntactic structures; most of the examples are, however, affirmative, so I'm not quite sure that "there is" behaves the same way in negative clauses. I came up with the three examples above after I had seen the things below.

A) Galadriel: Will you look inyo the mirror? Frodo: What will I see? Galadriel: Even the wisest cannot tell, for the mirror shows many things: things that were, things that are, and some things that have not yet come to pass.

B) Daniel Kahnemann talks about a phenomenon that he calls "What you see is all there is".

C) I saw lots of such results in Google: Seeing and hearing things that aren't there.

P.S. I realize that technically speaking some of the clauses considered are not "there is" clauses, but as they predicate existence, have the verb "to be" in them and are equivalent in function, I decided to include them.
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 3:48:02 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 25,940
Neurons: 136,989
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Duplicate question.

See this thread.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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