Consider the sentence "There exists no language or dialect in the world that cannot convey complex ideas."

"There exists" is beyond my comprehension because I only know of many forms of "there + be" structures such as "there has been..., there have been..., there was/were...., there is/are..., there will be....

My question is: what is the difference between "there + be" and "there exist/s"? The word "exist" is an intransitive verb, so may an intransitive verb be used with "there". Can you give me more examples where an intransitive verb other than 'exist' is used after "there"?

  • 1
    "There" is not entirely restricted to "be" as predicator. Presentational clauses like yours have some verb other than "be" as predicator, in this case "exist". Other such verbs include "seem, appear, arise", occur, follow" and remain" (cf. There remains only two further issues to discuss). – BillJ Sep 22 '17 at 10:26
  • 'People with more than twenty digits exist' may be used in a cleft structure 'There exist people with more than twenty digits' (but this is very formal). 'There are people with more than twenty digits' is idiomatic, but 'People with more than twenty digits are.' is unacceptable except as a fragment (answer or echo). – Edwin Ashworth Sep 22 '17 at 10:27

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