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In spoken English I often hear a contraction of Why is used with many+plural noun. Is that acceptable informal language or should it be avoided?

  • Why's there so many books on the table? instead of Why are there so many books on the table?
  • Why's there so many people in our house today? instead of Why are there so many people in our house today?
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    In colloquial English, agreement in number is often ignored. English speakers don't consult a grammar text in the course of their daily lives. I hope that speakers of your own language don't do so! Avoid this usage in formal writing, but don't worry about it beyond that. – P. E. Dant Aug 12 '17 at 9:49
  • @P.E.Dant Okay, so that's okay in spoken English. I hope non-native speakers can speak like that too. – SovereignSun Aug 12 '17 at 9:53
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When using existential there constructions, a phrase like so many people in the house today is often understood to be a single "existential" fact and is thus grammatically singular not plural.

Absent a there-construction, native speakers would not tend to say

Why is so many people in the house today? ungrammatical

but they would often say

Why's there so many people in the house today?

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