grammar - "Is there" versus "Are there" - English Language & Usage Stack


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** “Is there” versus “Are there” **

up vote 4 down vote favorite
{{Are there any questions I should be asking?
Is there any articles available on the subject?


My instinct is that in the two questions above, it should be 'are' as the
subjects of the sentences (questions/articles) are plural.

However I also recall being told that the singular 'is' is valid here too,
and of course see it very often in usage online, and this has left me a bit

*Update:* I have stumbled upon the reason for the confusion.


Is there any water?
Are there any questions?


The sentence structure is the same but of course water is not plural,
although it is not singular either.

grammar grammatical-number uncountable-nouns there-is

share|improve this question
edited Aug 4 '12 at 1:42
asked Jul 15 '11 at 0:43
Charles Goodwin


Related: this question on mass nouns vs count nouns which does mention
water as a mass


is there or are there

Absolute Beginner English There is, There are


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** Absolute Beginner English There is, There are **

By Kenneth Beare

Top Related Searches
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Building on the new vocabulary students have just learnt, you can introduce
'there is' and 'there are'. You will need some more images, some of these
images should have a number of the same item in order to practice both the
single and plural form.

*Teacher:* Is there a car in this picture? Yes, there is a car in that
picture. Is there a book in this picture? No, there isn't a book in that
picture.(/Model the differnce between the question and answer by accenting
'is there' in the question and 'there is' in the response. /)

*Teacher:* Is there a computer in this picture?

*Student(s):* Yes, there is a computer in that picture.

*Teacher:* Is there a computer in this picture?

*Student(s):* No, there isn't a computer in that picture.

/Continue this exercise with the everyday objects images you have brought
into class. Alternate these objects with objects in the classroom that


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