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English Lover's 2nd Topic - Temporary Subject (There) Options
Hayasi
Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 8:59:45 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/22/2011
Posts: 6
Neurons: 18
Location: Malaysia
I had studied the chapter of the "Temporary Subject - There/It" and I again found myself some confusions. They are as below:-

1. When you see a cat in your bathroom, you would say: "There is a cat in my bathroom." BUT you wouldn't say "A cat is in my bathroom." <--- This is mentioned in my grammar book, but the sentence "A cat (subject) is (linking verb) in my bathroom (adverb-where)sounds pretty fine for me, but WHY it couldn't be described by this way?? I roughly understand one of the functions of "Temporary Subject" is "Subject Introducer" which means the real subject (A Cat) will come after it. May I know WHY & WHEN the "Temporary Subject" is required?

Compare No.1
Jane, a postman is at the glass door, please go and collect the mails.
Jane, there is a postman at the glass door, please go and collect the mails.

Compare No.2
The drilling machine is there (adverb-where) at the site and ready to deploy.
There (temp.subject) is the drilling machine(real subject)at the site and it is ready to deploy (or to be deployed).

Your kind reply and comment on the above matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Hayasi
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2011 12:06:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 11,698
Neurons: 58,593
Hayasi wrote:
I had studied the chapter of the "Temporary Subject - There/It" and I again found myself some confusions. They are as below:-

1. When you see a cat in your bathroom, you would say: "There is a cat in my bathroom." BUT you wouldn't say "A cat is in my bathroom." <--- This is mentioned in my grammar book, but the sentence "A cat (subject) is (linking verb) in my bathroom (adverb-where)sounds pretty fine for me, but WHY it couldn't be described by this way?? I roughly understand one of the functions of "Temporary Subject" is "Subject Introducer" which means the real subject (A Cat) will come after it. May I know WHY & WHEN the "Temporary Subject" is required?

Hayasi, I'm not a teacher, so I can only give you my opinion as an AE speaker. Why your book says you can not say this, is a mystery to me ("A cat is in my bathroom."}. This is a perfectly fine sentence.

Compare No.1
Jane, a postman is at the glass door, please go and collect the mails. (We use mail, not mails.)
Jane, there is a postman at the glass door, please go and collect the mails.

I am not aware that a temporary subject is required at any time, but you may use it.
In the sentences above and below, the word, "there" is one we use to simply mean a location that is away from where we are currently.
In both of these, the sentences sound fine to me.


Compare No.2
The drilling machine is there (adverb-where) at the site and ready to deploy.
The drilling machine is there and ready to deploy.
We use "there" alone whenever the listener knows or understands where the location is that we are talking about.


There (temp.subject) is (a) drilling machine(real subject)at the site and it is ready to deploy (or to be deployed).

Your kind reply and comment on the above matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Hayasi


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Shivanand
Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2011 12:26:56 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/2/2011
Posts: 7,902
Neurons: 229,316
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Dear Hayasi,

I am of the opinion that you are complicating the issue of temporary subject. These temporary subjects/objects are illustrated to make you understand the construction of sentences in active and passive voices properly. You do not need to apply them everywhere! Both sentences are grammatically okay!

Compare No.1
Jane, a postman is at the glass door, please go and collect the mails.
Jane, there is a postman at the glass door, please go and collect the mails.

Both mean the same and are interchangeable!

Compare No.2
The drilling machine is there (adverb-where) at the site and ready to deploy.
There (temp.subject) is the drilling machine(real subject)at the site and it is ready to deploy (or to be deployed).

The first sentence is appropriate because, the drilling machine is brought to the site by choice and not found accidentally!

Cheers! Applause

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन। मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते संगोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥
Hayasi
Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2011 9:16:31 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/22/2011
Posts: 6
Neurons: 18
Location: Malaysia
Thank you!
Romany
Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2011 11:41:45 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,651
Neurons: 49,379
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
However, one would not use "mails". The collective 'mail' is always used. No "s".
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