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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 5th, 2007, 08:21 pm
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Default There's four. ??

I was in class the other day and asked the student how many papers he needed. He said four and I handed the papers to him saying, "There's four."

As I walked away I started thinking about it. And, I'm so confused I don't even know what my question is, other than why is there no verb agreement to the plural '4 sheets.'

Is this form different from 'there is ...' for existance?

Am I speaking non-grammar-nessly when I say 'There's four for you.'?
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Unread Mar 6th, 2007, 02:18 am
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Default Re: There's four. ??

Don't worry - you're not the only one. It's very common to use the singular is with a plural complement in informal speech. It happens a lot with There's, but also in expressions like How's things?

No, it's not strictly "grammatical". But it is normal usage.

There is/are does have two meanings : a quantifying use - There are four people in the room, There's a lot of traffic today - and a demonstrative use There's John! There are the people I was telling you about. To distinguish between them ask yourself if you could replace There with Here and change the sentence into the past. if the answers are Yes/No respectively, it's the demonstrative use - as in your sentence. But I don't think it affects the there's + plural problem.
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Unread Mar 19th, 2007, 08:59 pm
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Default Re: There's four. ??

I agree with Susan. It's one of those 'grammar mistakes' that native users make quite often, along with 'should of' and 'better' (as opposed to had better).
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Unread Mar 20th, 2007, 07:46 am
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Default Re: There's four. ??

Yea, ever since i started teaching i keep picking up on my own mistakes..... and everyone else's - it's soooo frustrating!
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Unread Mar 20th, 2007, 10:11 am
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Default Re: There's four. ??

Thanks for the feedback.

After running these problems through my head a few times, I always start to get confused and nothing sounds right or everything sounds right.

Quote from a young native English speaker on the plane:
'There's, like, so many no trees down there."
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