there is' name='description'> there's - definition and meaning


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • phrase contraction of there is
  • phrase contraction of there has
  • phrase proscribed contraction of there are See there're.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Quirk of grammar: this behaves differently from its uncontracted origin 'there is' in that it freely accepts a plural co-subject*. So 'There's three men in the garden' is grammatical, whereas it's not with 'There is'.

    * I'm at work so can't check what the proper name for this item is: the 'three men' in my example. The subject is the noun 'there' (sic - it's a noun, a pronoun to be precise). The other is co-subject, associated subject, extrapolated subject?

    January 9, 2009

  • It still sounds ungrammatical to me.

    January 10, 2009

  • I agree, rt. I was always taught to say "there are" (or "there're" if I must contract) instead of "there's" for a plural subject. It didn't stop me, though.

    January 10, 2009

  • Saying it is one thing; in writing, it should be "there are." But non-standard speech, general conversation... eh. Not as annoying as "try and."

    January 10, 2009

  • True. In some conversations, you'd never guess I'm an editor. ;-)

    January 10, 2009

  • I've never really liked the construction "There is..." to indicate existence. I love English, but I think of this as one of English's little foibles. Indicating the existence of something by constructing a meaningless subject and relegating the actual subject of your sentence to being the object? Please. Give me a break. :-)

    But now, I'm beginning to expect that English is evolving a more elegant solution. "There's" is now being used not as a grammatical subject, but rather as a rough equivalent to the existential quantifier of symbolic logic, , which means "there exists".

    This suggests that "There's" does not (necessarily) equal "There is".

    If my hypothesis turns out to be correct, then I see no reason why "There's" should be forced to agree with the number of the subject it's describing.


    January 10, 2009