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cisum
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:39:28 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 2/15/2013
Posts: 73
Neurons: 1,865
Hi,
Should I use 'is' or 'are' in the sentences?

There is/are a lot of people in the room.
There is/are a box of tomatoes.

Thanks a lot.
thar
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:53:33 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 22,788
Neurons: 92,574
Here, (colloquiall at least) the commonsense meaning overrides the grammar.

There is a box of tomatoes. It is one box of tomatoes. You could have two boxes of tomatoes. So one box is singular.

There is a box of tomatoes
There are two boxes of tomatoes.

'A lot' is not so much a noun; it is an expression which is only used in a particular way.

so, if the noun is singular, the 'a lot' is singular
There is a lot of money.
(there is lots of money) (there is much money)

if the noun is plural, the 'a lot' is plural
There are a lot of people who....
(there are lots of people who...) (there are many people who)

Unless it isn't!
Such as the fixed phrase 'there is/there are' standing on its own:
There's a lot of money here. Yes, there is!
There's a lot of people here. Yes there are! (more likely response than Yes there is)

Be confused. Be very confused. Whistle

(edited to include parallels with much/many)
Kami
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:35:51 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/12/2009
Posts: 229
Neurons: 687
cisum wrote:
Hi,
Should I use 'is' or 'are' in the sentences?

There is/are a lot of people in the room.
There is/are a box of tomatoes.

Thanks a lot.


1.There are lots of (many) people in the room.
(There is a person in the room.)

2.There is a box of tomatoes.
(There are lots of boxes of tomatoes)


ps: In the US, it's very common to hear someone say "there is friends every where" instead of "there are friends every where. You hear "there is two apples on the table" instead of "there are two apples on the table.
cisum
Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 3:02:57 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 2/15/2013
Posts: 73
Neurons: 1,865
Thank you for your comments.
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 6:06:15 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,589
Neurons: 31,086
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
cisum wrote:
Hi,
Should I use 'is' or 'are' in the sentences?

There is/are a lot of people in the room.
There is/are a box of tomatoes.

Thanks a lot.

The only way:
"There is a box of tomatoes"

The proper way:
"There are many people in the room."

The sloppy colloquial way:
"There's a lot of people in the room."

The contraction "there's" is often used in everyday speech without thinking about number, although in writing, the verb needs to agree with the complement.
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 6:09:07 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,589
Neurons: 31,086
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Kami wrote:
cisum wrote:
Hi,
Should I use 'is' or 'are' in the sentences?

There is/are a lot of people in the room.
There is/are a box of tomatoes.

Thanks a lot.


1.There are lots of (many) people in the room.
(There is a person in the room.)

2.There is a box of tomatoes.
(There are lots of boxes of tomatoes)


ps: In the US, it's very common to hear someone say "there is friends every where" instead of "there are friends every where. You hear "there is two apples on the table" instead of "there are two apples on the table.


What's even more common is to hear people use the contraction "there's" without thinking about it: "There's friends everywhere," "There's two apples on the table" etc.
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