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I overheard a conversation today regarding a random topic and one of them said:

"There is one man and there is one PC in this picture ."

The other person tried to correct her friend by saying:

"There is one man and one PC in this picture."

Which of the two sentences is actually correct? Thank you!

  • This question belongs on English Language Learners – Kris Jul 27 '15 at 10:11
  • This is an ordinary example of the rule of Conjunction Reduction. In this case, Conjunction Reduction removes the repeated there is in the second conjunct. The first sentence is the input to the rule and the second sentence is the output. Since Conjunction Reduction is an optional rule, both sentences are grammatical. – John Lawler Jul 27 '15 at 13:12
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They are both correct. But unless you want to be very precise, it is not necessary to repeat the there is section, so the second example is more readable.

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The first sentence is two clauses "There is one man" and "There is one PC." Each has singular subject with a singular verb ("is"). So no problem with the first.

The second has a compound subject "one man and one PC." If the author considered the two as a unit, then the singular verb ( still "is") is fine. If the author considered the two separately, the the plural verb is fine. The juxtaposition of "is" and "one" may have made the decision.

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