Grammar in EAP

Introductory "There"


An English sentence such as "A discrepancy was in the experimental results." is possible but unusual. The conventional academic way of putting it is to begin the sentence with "there" and postpone the indefinite subject, which is then expanded by post-modification or an adverbial group. Identify the Nominal Group which is functioning as the postponed subject and its expansion.

For example:

  • There were several people in favour of the proposal.

  • There is no single issue in contemporary human affairs that is of greater importance...

  • In the late thirteenth century, there were repeated efforts to drive back the counter-offensive.

  • There was a large amount of work for the team to carry out.

  • But in the Zaire basin there are only 38 million people occupying an area of 3 million km2.

  • There are no constraints placed upon the timing of the volunteer's activities.

  • There were many citizens who believed that ...

  1. There are many students in financial trouble.
  2. He was still convinced that there was something wrong.
  3. There were no endowments to finance the upkeep of the building and the work inside it.
  4. They do not for the most part take a position like that of Boas and Evans-Pritchard which rejects the very notion that there are general laws governing human history.
  5. There is an odd ambivalence directed to matters sexual in what is recognized as a staunchly Roman Catholic country.
  6. In addition, there are a few patients who have survived after inflicting deep cuts, usually of the throat and neck.
  7. There were deliberate attempts for the government to develop elements of both high and popular culture in music, poetry, dance, and games.
  8. There is a network of clinics throughout Italy - all towns with more than 50 000 inhabitants having one.
  9. There is a lot of evidence that such internal restrictions occur in all the accounts of descent groups amassed by anthropologists.
  10. There are experiments using the condition suppression procedure that have succeeded in showing a loss of the CR with a change of context.


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