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E.g., in the sentence:

There is no alternative.

Wikipedia says:

The word there is used as a pronoun in some sentences, playing the role of a dummy subject, normally of an intransitive verb. The "logical subject" of the verb then appears as a complement after the verb.

Can somebody please elaborate on the above sentence, possibly with examples?

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Sorry, but this is a general reference. –  Noah Nov 5 '12 at 8:37
While this question is probably too basic for this site, I think it would be a good fit for the proposed English Language Learners site in Area 51. If you visited there and "committed" to that proposal, you'd help make that site a reality. –  J.R. Nov 5 '12 at 9:22
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closed as general reference by Noah, F'x, Armen Ծիրունյան, Matt Эллен, tchrist Nov 5 '12 at 12:09

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

There is X is equivalent of X exists. (with negations too).

  • There is no alternative.
  • No alternative exists.

There are other usages though. There [verb]s X would mean And so, ... *Look as...* .

  • There goes my thousand bucks worth of glassware
  • And so my expensive glassware is destroyed.

Standalone "There." comes as a confirmation of completing some implicit action.

  • -- Could you delete these files?
  • -- There. (or Done. or Deleted.)

It also appears in this context in an idiom "There you are."

I probably missed a few other usages but you should get the general idea, that "there" outside of pointing a location can be a generic filler.

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