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.


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?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, Community Jan 18 '16 at 15:32

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • I consider that the upvoter is doing the site a disservice. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 18 '16 at 15:14
  • @EdwinAshworth what about the "us?" Clearly wrong but idiomatic...? – michael_timofeev Jan 18 '16 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. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 18 '16 at 15:26
  • 1
    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) – guifa Jan 18 '16 at 17:22
  • 2
    @guifa, I mostly agree -- neither alternative given is grammatical. However, I like "There's only us here." – Greg Lee Jan 18 '16 at 21:39

I would use

There is only us here. 

Another possible alternative could be:

Only we are here. 

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.

  • 2
    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' "? – Edwin Ashworth Jan 18 '16 at 15:28

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.