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Why is the sentence " There is (62) days left until we have to take the exam." correct? It must be like "There are (62) days left until we have to take the exam."?

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  • It ain't correct.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 5, 2020 at 13:29
  • 1
    What is the role of the parentheses in the example?
    – jsw29
    Jan 5, 2020 at 16:53
  • Because it's got unnecessary parentheses in? Jan 6, 2020 at 1:24

2 Answers 2

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Ten miles is too far to walk.(Ten miles refers to singular distance). 100 dollars is too much to pay.(100 dollars refers to singular amount/price). Five years is too long for that offense.(Five years refers to singular time or duration). There are (62) days left until we have to take the exam.(Is correct as it refers to plural 62 days)

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The grammatically sound sentence should be:

There are 62 days left.

However, the simplified version There is (most commonly, if not exclusively in its contracted form There's) seems to be gaining increasing popularity, possibly under the influence of non-native speakers of English.

Francophones, too, have no plural construction for this: "il y a" means both there is and there are.

Part of this trend among Anglophones seems to be corresponding with the theory that languages become more simplified over time, as people break the established patterns.

Also, part of the confusion could be because when distances, periods of time, sums of money, etc. are used as subjects, they're considered as units and hence get singular verbs:

Ten miles is too far to walk.

100 dollars is too much to pay.

Five years is too long for that offense.

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    This question came from this comment where I said, “There’s 62 days left...”. OP changed that to the uncontracted form to arrive at his question.
    – Jim
    Jan 5, 2020 at 9:03
  • Yeah, "There's 62 days left" is idiomatic (if not strictly "proper"). I suspect this is because it "flows" better than "There're 62 days left". "There is 62 days left" is just wrong, however.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 6, 2020 at 2:54

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