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Across the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state Maryland's Eastern Shore lies there , whose farms produce beans, tomatoes, and other garden vegetables.

Is this sentence grammatically correct? How is it stylistically?

My teachers has already said to me that the adverb there should be removed.

However, I have forgotten the reason for it. Could you help me why this sentence is not correct?

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It doesn't make any sense either with or without there. –  Barrie England Feb 1 at 8:12
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@BarrieEngland It is not a succinct piece of prose, I would agree. But apart from the fact that it needs a comma after 'state', and the one after 'there' probably should be a semi-colon, I can't find much wrong with the grammar. The first line holds some promise as the beginnings of a piece of poetry. –  WS2 Feb 1 at 8:56

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

An idiomatically correct rendering of that sentence would be:

Across the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state lies Maryland's Eastern Shore, whose farms produce beans, tomatoes, and other garden vegetables.

"There" and "[a]cross the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state" refer to the same thing, so a sentence that permits the word "there" to appear where you have it would also permit this bit of silliness:

Across the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state Maryland's Eastern Shore lies across the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state, whose farms produce beans, tomatoes, and other garden vegetables.

It would be possible to say

Maryland's Eastern Shore lies across the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state.

...but then you would lose the ability to tag on the "whose farms produce beans, tomatoes, and other garden vegetables" part. "Whose", in that case, would refer to "the rest of the state" rather than to the Eastern Shore. That's one of the drawbacks of an essentially case-free language (English has only a vestigial genitive and some accusative — and one dative/ablative — pronouns). Word order matters a lot.

It is also possible to arrange the sentence into a topic/comment structure:

Across the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state, there lies Maryland's Eastern Shore, whose farms produce beans, tomatoes, and other garden vegetables.

It is typical in a topic/comment sentence to mention the subject twice: once as an elaborated phrase (or an object pronoun) and again as a pronoun. English is not a topic-prominent language (as, say, French tends to be), but topic/comment is neither unheard of nor particularly uncommon.

Fronting the location clause ("across the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state") means that you have to move the verb "lies" as well, or you will be stuck with a construction that has an archaic or poetically pretentious tone to modern ears, though it may have been acceptable or even normal in Sixteenth or Seventeenth Century English. (At that time, the standard dialect of English had not yet completely transitioned away from the Germanic word order of Old English. Standard dialects of written languages tend to change slowly over time compared to the actual language as used on the ground by its speakers, but they do change. "Posting" verbs is rare in modern English, and mostly found in idiomatic utterances.)

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The exact same reasoning shows that the sentence "here there be dragons" is incorrect: there means here, so what this sentence really is saying is "here here be dragons", which has a redundant "here". However, "here there be dragons" is a quite famous English sentence (although it would use "are" in today's language). –  Peter Shor Feb 1 at 13:02
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@PeterShor: is it? I thought you were going to argue from the unfamiliarity of here there be dragons. Googling for it, I find hits with a comma after here. On the other hand here be dragons is very familiar to me. –  Colin Fine Feb 1 at 13:08
    
@Colin: you're right, it's here be dragons. And you do need a comma after "here". –  Peter Shor Feb 1 at 13:10
    
@PeterShor - Here there be dragons, with or without a comma after here (punctuation has varied greatly over time), is a topic/comment construction (there is nothing intervening). –  bye Feb 1 at 13:30

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