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Temporary reopen note:

The linked-to question is about the verb agreeing with the grammatical number of the first item in a list in a there is/are sentence. However there is no list in this question here. Even if there were, us would seem to be plural here, so there is no good explanation of why is may be preferable to are.

You can see the linked-to question here:

The Original Question

I am dubious between these two ways of referring to two people in a place or in an area.

Example:

John: Ok folks, I am going to let you here waiting for the manager to come. It is going to take some minutes until he makes it here.

Josh: Ok, thank you.

Mathew: Alright.

Josh: Hum... Now, there is/are only us here.

Is there any reason why is or are is preferable here?

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  • I consider that the upvoter is doing the site a disservice. Jan 18, 2016 at 15:14
  • @EdwinAshworth what about the "us?" Clearly wrong but idiomatic...? Jan 18, 2016 at 15:18
  • @michael_timofeev It's as clearly wrong as it is in 'It's us' rather than 'It's we'. Idiomaticity trumps zombie rules. The absurd 'the copula and other link verbs must never take the accusative' pseudorule has been debunked here many times. And the agreement issue involved here has also been done to death. Jan 18, 2016 at 15:26
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    I feel like this should be reopened. Franky as a native, none of the possible combinations of there[['s|'re]| is| are] [we|us] sound right to my ears, though I can't come up with an explanation as to why. I think it is quite different indeed (or at least, a special case not covered by the much broader question and answer in the linked question) Jan 18, 2016 at 17:22
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    @guifa, I mostly agree -- neither alternative given is grammatical. However, I like "There's only us here."
    – Greg Lee
    Jan 18, 2016 at 21:39

2 Answers 2

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I would use

There is only us here. 

Another possible alternative could be:

Only we are here. 
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In this case, 'us' is singular, referring to a group such as, for example, 'my family'. While 'my family' is comprised of many people, the term is singular.

The correct use therefore is: Now, there is only us here.

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    So you would allow 'We is going to the shops' if you consider 'we' "singular, referring to a group such as, for example, 'my family' "? Jan 18, 2016 at 15:28

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