“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: • They have a laundromat and a café there. • 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? • There is a man; there are two women. • 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”: • What is the answer? • What are the reasons?
Which is more frequent? • Pronoun: 47 • Adverb: 3 • Source: lextutor.ca
Typical student errors • “They went to there” • “It was a place where were many people.” WHY?
Interference from L1 “There is a library there.” (Translate into a language you know.)
Interference from L1 Spanish: Hayunabibliotecaahí. = It has a library there. French: Il y aunebibliothèquelà-bas. = It has there a library down there. German: EsgibteineBibliothekdort. = It gives a library there. Turkish: Şuradakütüphanevar. = At there library exists. Japanese: Asokonitoshokan-gaarimasu. = That place-in library (nominative) exists. Mandarin: Nàlǐyǒuyīgètúshūguǎn. = That place there is a library. Korean: Do suh guan enjugi e yo. = Library is at place. Arabic: Tuwjadmaktabahunak = There is library there.
Resources A. Learners’ dictionaries
Resources A. Learners’ dictionaries Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 7th Edition (2005) Adverb only!
Resources A. Learners’ dictionaries • Oxford ESL Dictionary (2004) • Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Advanced, 5th Edition (2009) Pronoun and Adverb
Resources B. Grammar textbooks for learners
Resources B. Grammar textbooks for learners Only “there is/are” without identifying the P.O.S.
Resources C. Websites
Resources C. Website – jackpot! Thereis 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/questions/138413/how-to-know-what-part-of-speech-is-there-in-some-cases
Resources D. Grammar textbooks for teachers • Parrott, M. (2010) Grammar for English Language Teachers (2nded). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • 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: • Identify the different types of usages. • Decide with your partner what to call each different type. (50-instance Brown concordance, on lextutor.ca)
Concordance worksheetMy results: Adverb: 3 there is (in various tenses + negative) • 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 • + adverb • there also is • there certainly was not • Hedging • there may be • there seemed to be • there should be • Should there be …? • there would be • Other: • there existed
Implications(for teaching) Teach both – contrast them. RE-introduce “there” = pronoun, when introducing • a structure that it goes with, or • a function such as hedging
Implications(for teaching) Include it in exercises about • modals (there will be, there would be), • past tense modals (there could have been, there must have been) • hedging(there seems to be, there are evidently, there could be, there is evidence of)
Implications(for teaching) Don’t forget question formation: • Will there be? • Would there be? • Could there have been? • Does there seem to be [hard!]? • Are there evidently [awkward]?
Thank you! With special thanks to my language support: • Yoriko Gillard • Haisen (Edwin) Zhang • Eun-Yu (David) Kim • Huda Al-Tayar • AmalAyyash Laura Blumenthal (firstname.lastname@example.org)