Is there any difference in meaning between: "Outside the wall was a ditch" and "Outside the wall there was a ditch"

  • 2
    There is no difference in meaning.
    – user47031
    May 16, 2018 at 15:20
  • Why not tell us what you think, too?
    – Lambie
    May 16, 2018 at 15:31
  • The fact of the ditch is the same in both utterances. Whether there was adds some nuance that makes the utterance either more concrete or more impersonal is open to debate. linguistica.sns.it/RdL/25.1/intro_Bentley_&_alii.pdf
    – TimR
    May 16, 2018 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


There's no difference in the meaning of those two phrases.

When reading the second one I get the sense that we're about to hear more about the ditch - that the ditch is not just a passing detail. That's the only difference I can think of looking at them together.

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