"there's" + <plural noun>

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 27 01:10:06 UTC 2009

But isn't _lot_ peculiar?

There is a lot of money to be made, playing the stock market.

There *is(?) / are a lot of bills still unpaid, as a consequence of
playing the stock market.

There's / There're a lot a bills.

A lot of people *was / were coming.

A lot of money was / *were lost.

Et talia.


On Sat, Sep 26, 2009 at 7:21 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "there's" + <plural noun>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 3:53 PM -0700 9/26/09, Grant Barrett wrote:
>>>Here's an old 'thread':
>>Thanks. Good stuff. I can't make out who the author of this line is:
>>"T. Daniel Seely and I worked on this problem years ago." It seems
>>only to be quoted; the original message is not in the archive.
>>Grant Barrett
>>grantbarrett at gmail.com
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> I don't recall who Seely's co-investigator was either.  One point
> that always struck me about this construction is that (for my
> intuitions/dialect) the contracted singular is fine but the plural
> obligatorily resurfaces in the tag:
> There's a lot of mistakes in that draft, {aren't there/*isn't there}.
> There's two men from Cleveland in the next room {aren't there/*isn't there}.
> (I know, there's always "ain't there", but I ain't goin there.)
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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