7

I wrote:

"Not at all." I kissed her slim curled lips. "There are very few things I want to do that doesn't include you."

"There got to be some."

A native speaker told me that I needed to write:

"Not at all." I kissed her slim curled lips. "There are very few things I want to do that doesn't include you."

"There's got to be some."

What does 's stand for?

  • 5
    Because "things" is the subject for "doesn't", the word "doesn't" should be changed to "don't". – Jasper Aug 29 '17 at 15:30
18

It stands for "has", but the full form is less likely because if you were writing formally (avoiding contractions) you would probably pay attention to the agreement.

Colloquially: "There's got to be some."

Somewhat more formally: "There have got to be some."

(Formally: "There have to be some.")

"There've got to be some" is less commonly seen and may even look a little odd to some people. "There has got to be some" would be open to criticism too, because "some things" is plural, so the agreement should be with "have".

Here "there's" is acceptable because it's clear that ordinary conversational English is in use. Indeed, it appears that you're writing a story or account in which this sentence is part of a direct quote (direct speech):

"There's got to be some."

  • Point taken. I have amended my answer to reflect your observation. – rjpond Aug 29 '17 at 23:10
  • 2
    I think you're mistaken in the concern about agreement, at least in general. Some can be used in a countable or uncountable sense (e.g. some apples or some dirt) and thus by itself could agree with has or with have. In this specific example it most likely goes (by context) with an implicit things, but there are ways you can interpret it where a grammatical singular is plausible. – R.. Aug 30 '17 at 2:57
  • 1
    i agree that "some" can sometimes be singular (agreeing with a mass noun, for example), but here, in this context, I think the implication of "things" is quite strong. – rjpond Aug 30 '17 at 6:16
5

There's stands for "There has".

Lack of number agreement is not at all uncommon with existential-there constructions.

There's got to be many girls who would go to the prom with you. Don't mope just because your first choice already has a date.

  • You can get the same mismatch in other contexts where There's stands for There is: "There's the ace of spades" is correct ("There is the ace of spades") but "There's the four aces" should be "There are the four aces". – TripeHound Aug 30 '17 at 11:15
  • @TripeHound: Consider: "You dirty cheating rat! -- What do you mean by that? I'm no cheater. What evidence do you have?? Let's see, there's the four aces up your sleeves, and that waitress walking behind me has been tippin' you off all night. I can see her in the mirror." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 30 '17 at 11:32
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo At least as I was taught, that would be incorrect: the full phrase would be "There are four aces..." and so the contraction "There's" shouldn't be used. However, because some people do use it that way (whether through ignorance, by mistake, or because it has become tolerated/accepted), it would be OK in direct speech (as your example is). To keep on-topic, the same would apply to "There has" and "There have". – TripeHound Aug 30 '17 at 12:18
  • @TripeHound: The there-construction really means something like this: "There's the four aces up your sleeve, for one thing, and that waitress...." The fact of the four aces is the "true" subject, not the four aces per se. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 30 '17 at 12:22
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo We're probably getting picky (and into realms where I could be mistaken), but if the phrase included "for one thing", then I could see it being "There is the [singular] fact of your sleeves are holding four aces as evidence of cheating", but I think it's a bit of a push. However, as you originally wrote it, it's clearly (to me) a list of the pieces of evidence [of cheating]: number one: that there are four aces up your sleeve; number two: the waitress has been tipping you off. – TripeHound Aug 30 '17 at 12:39
0

Just an extra note for you but the "There are very few things I want to do that doesn't include you" should be "There are very few things I want to do that don't include you" because you're talking about things which is plural. If it was a single thing then it would be doesn't.

  • That's already been pointed out, and doesn't provide an answer to the question. – Tim Aug 30 '17 at 5:47

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