“There’s” is Sadly Prolific

No sooner had I pressed the “send” button than I received an e-mail from a C-level person with a “There’s” wrongly written.  Help get “there’s” into the “there are” or “there’re” category – please – unless it’s used correctly!

Singular v/ Plural and Expletives

Take the quiz below and then see the answers to follow:

Correct the following or leave them as is, if you deem them correct.

  1. There’s no springs to worry about.
  2. There’s 20 people waiting in line.
  3. There’s too many e-mails to read.
  4. There’s no place to park at the airport!
  5. There’s a lot of police officers at the Occupy sites.
  6. There’s several different routes to take.
  7. There’s about 8 houses to paint.
  8. There’s a policy and procedure manual on your desk.
  9. There’s a good and a bad way to punctuate your sentences.
  10. There’s multiple stores that have the equipment.

Numbers 4, 8 and  9 are correct.  “There’s” is the contraction for “there is.”  “Is” is the third-person singular of the verb “to be.”  When your subject is plural, write with a plural verb, not the singular verb; therefore, “are” instead of “is.” 

The examples above come not only from books, but also from ads on television, news reporters and everyday conversation; help them and you by using the correct tenses.

Change the singular verb to the plural verb when you have a plural subject.  The verb is in bold, the subject is in italics.

  1. There are no springs to worry about.
  2. There are 20 people waiting in line.
  3. There are too many e-mails to read.
  4. There’s no place to park at the airport! (correct.)
  5. There are a lot of police officers at the Occupy sites.
  6. There are several different routes to take.
  7. There are about 8 houses to paint.
  8. There’s a policy and procedure manual on your desk.
  9. There’s a good and a bad way to punctuate your sentences.

(Better: There’s a good way and there’s a bad way to punctuate….)

  1. There are multiple stores that have the equipment.

When you have a combination of plurals with singulars, separate them and use the plural noun first in the series and the plural verb:

  1. There are playing fields, a swimming pool, two locker rooms and a gym for the students.

Watch too, for “there is” and “there are” when used as expletives – or unnecessary sentence starters; shorten your sentence and make it stronger.

Example:

  1. There’re 15 bags of leaves ready for recycling.
    1. Fifteen bags of leaves are ready for recycling. (This deletes the expletive “there are” and makes the subject – “bags” – stand out.
  1. There’s a policy and procedure manualon your desk.
    1. a.       A policy and procedure manual is on your desk.

Start the New Year with a writing class that helps your employees learn – or relearn – the power of correct grammar, punctuation and syntax.  2012 is almost here, and my classes pave the way for exceptional communication and positive responses.  www.DeeDukehart.com * Dee@DeeDukehart.com

November 2011

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