"there's" + <plural noun>

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Sun Sep 27 02:02:42 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.

Indefinite quantifier, like "a number" or "a large number" or "a
significant percentage" and so on. The verb goes with what it's
quantifying: countable (plural) or mass (singular) (of course you
can't quantify mass objects with "a number," but you know what I
mean). The sort of thing that screws up people like journalists and
others who try too hard to be correct (and write things like "Give it
to whomever is there").

There's probably a better term for it than "indefinite quantifier,"
and I'm sure if there is someone will say what.

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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