This particular word confusion is one of mine, and since I don’t want to suffer alone, I figure there might be a few writers out there with the same problem.
My go-to is there’s whether it’s singular or plural, and I’m always having to replace mentally that apostrophe with the missing letters to be sure I have the right verb tense.
‘Cause it’s all about verb agreement.
|Consider the following:|
|Singular Verb||Plural Verb|
|There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
Yep, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
|There’re more ways to skin a cat than you can shake a stick at.
I suppose there are several ways to skin a cat.
|There’s the boat.
There is the boat. It’s just one boat.
|There’re the boats.
There are the boats. Because there is more than one boat, one uses are as the plural verb form.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
there is / there has / there was
there are / there were
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: there’s|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Both phrases combine a pronoun with verb|
|Contraction of there is, there has, there was||Contraction of there are, there were|
is is a simple present verb form of be
was is a simple past verb form of be
has is a present perfect verb form of have
are is a simple plural present verb form of be
were is a simple plural past verb form of be
Used as a grammatical subject, especially with to be, to introduce the actual subject
|Look, John, there’s been a change in the scheduling.
So there’s this naked lady at Walmart…
There’s sure to be a chill in the air.
I gotta tell ya, there’s no there there.
Why don’t you make us a cuppa tea, there’s a good girl.
|Look, John, there’re lots of changes in the scheduling.
So there’re these naked ladies at Walmart…
There’re lots of blankets in the hall closet.
There’re sure to be lots of people there.
|History of the Word:|
|There is Old English thǣr, thēr is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch daar and German da, also to that and the.|
|First Known Use: 1580|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!