When people use plural nouns after the word "there's", for example:

There's too many numbers.

it makes me a bit frustrated. I try to correct it by using "There are," but it still happens sometimes to me (the "there's" situation). Do you think that there are is the correct usage option? People usually use there's, as I said.


If you want always to write, "There are too many damn fools on the Internet", then no one is stopping you. FWIW you have my blessing. But if you want to mount a crusade against what Marius calls the informal & casual "There's too many damn fools", then I think you have a job for life.

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  • John Lawler argues that 'there doesn't need to be any number agreement for the existential construction'. Which doesn't sound like a crusade against the 'informal and casual'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 26 '15 at 13:58
  • @Edwin: Interesting. I don't know Lawler. Would you describe what is meant by the "dummy there", please? – David Pugh Apr 26 '15 at 14:01
  • Check the links; the one I give contains an extended treatment by JL. I advise you to read various of his posts here, and his available articles. And I only argue – erm, discuss – with him when I feel he's forgetting that Brits had the language first. Though their McCawley seems hard to better. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 26 '15 at 14:05
  • OK, done that., thanks. My own position in this and other matters is that I will agree not to correct a given practice when done by others, but nor all Lawler's horses nor all Lawler's men will persuade me to write it myself. PS I never connected him with any crusade. – David Pugh Apr 26 '15 at 14:21
  • It should have read 'Which, however, doesn't sound like a crusade for the "informed and casual" '. When to adopt new practices hitherto regarded by most 'authorities' (Professors of Linguistics, perhaps?) as unacceptable, but now accepted by many of them, is always a dodgy decision to make. But I bet you use 'It's us'. Probably not 'singular they' (on BBC the other night). – Edwin Ashworth Apr 26 '15 at 14:31

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