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It is very common for people to say something like "There's a bear here". However, I don't think that this is correct, because a bear cannot be both "there" and "here" at the same time (barring any creative physics concepts).

Is there some better way to say it? "Here's a bear" sounds like I'm presenting a bear as a gift.

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"There" has a rather more complex set of meanings than simply "a place not near me". In this case it's being used as a placeholder for the delayed subject ("a bear") of the verb "to be" (being used in the sense of existing rather than as a copula). It has no sense of location to it in this usage.

So "There is a bear here." is equivalent to "A bear is (exists) here.", which you could use as an alternative if you prefer.

For more details: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/there#Pronoun

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  • It's clearer in French: Existential there (+ is): Il y a (un ours) // Locative there (+ is): Voilà (un ours) – Edwin Ashworth Nov 10 '13 at 9:30
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I don't think there's a bear would mean there's a problem. Apart from that, the sentence is grammatical but may not mean what you have in mind. You could say,

The homework was a bear. Which is a slang way of saying it was difficult.

If your question is about the here part in your sentence, then I'd say it's better to remove the last here because it doesn't add any substance to the meaning of your sentence.

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  • Oh, I actually didn't mean to say that a bear is a problem. I meant the part about mixing "there" and "here" together in the sentence. But what I mean is that in colloquial English (at least in my own experience) it seems that we would add the "here" to say that the bear is actually here, and not just floating off somewhere. – SimonT Nov 10 '13 at 5:12
  • @SimonT It's not just in colloquial English but seems to be wide spread in contemporary literature. – Noah Nov 10 '13 at 5:15

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