There*s no *there* there.

Report
“There’s no ‘there’
there.”
Is “there” a noun or an adverb?
Laura Blumenthal
Douglas College
Adverb
Adverbial usages = at that place, to that
place, usually at the end of a sentence or
clause:
O They have a laundromat and a café
there.
O Don’t go there!
Pronoun
If it’s a pronoun, why doesn’t the verb agree
with it, or why doesn’t it change forms?
O There is a man; there are two women.
O This is a man; these are two women. 
The form of the pronoun must change.
Pronoun
If it’s a pronoun, why doesn’t the verb agree
with it, or why doesn’t it change forms?
It works like “what”:
O What is the answer?
O What are the reasons?
Which is more frequent?
O
Pronoun: 47
O Adverb: 3
O
Source: lextutor.ca
Typical student errors
O “They went to there”
O “It was a place where were many people.”
WHY?
Interference from L1
Interference from L1
“There is a library there.”
(Translate into a language you know.)
Interference from L1
Spanish: Hay una biblioteca ahí. = It has a library there.
French: Il y a une bibliothèque là-bas. = It has there a library
down there.
German: Es gibt eine Bibliothek dort. = It gives a library
there.
Turkish: Şurada kütüphane var. = At there library exists.
Japanese: Asokoni toshokan-ga arimasu. = That place-in
library (nominative) exists.
Mandarin: Nàlǐ yǒu yīgè túshūguǎn. = That place there is a
library.
Korean: Do suh guan en jugi e yo. = Library is at place.
Arabic: Tuwjad maktaba hunak = There is library there.
Resources
Resources
A. Learners’
dictionaries
Resources
A. Learners’ dictionaries
Oxford Advanced Learner’s
Dictionary, 7th Edition (2005)
Resources
A. Learners’
dictionaries
• Oxford ESL Dictionary (2004)
• Longman Dictionary of Contemporary
English, Advanced, 5th Edition (2009)
Resources
B. Grammar textbooks
for learners
Resources
B. Grammar textbooks
for learners
Resources
C. Websites
Resources
C. Website – jackpot!
There is a glass there, where the first
there is a pronoun (the so-called
'existential there') and the other there is an
adverb.– FumbleFingersNov 20 '13 at 4:11
http://english.stackexchange.com/question
s/138413/how-to-know-what-part-ofspeech-is-there-in-some-cases
Resources
D. Grammar textbooks
for teachers
1) Parrott, M. (2010) Grammar
for English Language
Teachers (2nd ed).
Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
2) Celce-Murcia, M. (1983) The
Grammar Book: An ESL/EFL
Teacher's Course. Rowley,
MA: Newbury House.
Resources
D. Grammar textbooks
for teachers
• “there is/are” – explained as
“dummy”subject
• confusion with the other there –
not mentioned in Parrott
• “non-referential” - contrasted in
Celce-Murcia
Concordance worksheet
Your task:
O Identify the different types of usages.
O Decide with your partner what to call
each different type.
(50-instance Brown concordance, on
lextutor.ca)
Concordance worksheet
My results:
Adverb: 3
there is (in various tenses +
negative)
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
there is: 10
there are: 5
there was: 7
there wasn’t: 1
there were: 2
there has been: 5
there has not been: 1
there will be: 2
there’s not: 1
NOTE: there [BE] no 11!
variations on there is: 22
O + adverb
O there also is
O there certainly was
not
O Hedging
O there may be
O there seemed to be
O there should be
O Should there be …?
O there would be
O Other:
O there existed
Implications
(for teaching)
Teach both – contrast them.
RE-introduce “there” = pronoun, when
introducing
O a structure that it goes with, or
O a function such as hedging
Implications
(for teaching)
Include it in exercises about
O modals (there will be, there would be),
O past tense modals (there could have
been, there must have been)
O hedging (there seems to be, there are
evidently, there could be, there is evidence
of)
Implications
(for teaching)
Don’t forget question formation:
O Will there be?
O Would there be?
O Could there have been?
O Does there seem to be [hard!]?
O Are there evidently [awkward]?
Thank you!
With special thanks to my language support:
O Yoriko Gillard
O Haisen (Edwin) Zhang
O Eun-Yu (David) Kim
O Huda Al-Tayar
O Amal Ayyash
Laura Blumenthal
([email protected])

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