I've seen it written this way a couple of times, e.g. in oxford entry for dame: 'There's must be a wealthy society dame (preferably played by Margaret Dumont) who is entirely smitten with Groucho, though he walks all over her'.

What does the phrase mean / how is it different from just 'there must be'?

And BTW what does 'there's' mean in such a phrase? Is it 'there is' or 'there has' or?..

1 Answer 1


Appearances of "there's must be" are either mistakes or old English. The proper phrase would be, "there must be."

You are right that "there's" means "there is."

  • 1
    "There's must be" is a definite mistake in my opinion. I cannot imagine Old English was ever strange enough to consider that acceptable. Also, "there's" can also be a contracted form of "there has". Whenever it is, it is always clear from the remainder of the verb phrase that a perfect rather than a simple tense is being used. BUT NOTE - I'm not 100% certain about that. I will be checking here later to see if one of the experts clarifies/corrects my statement. Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 8:11
  • "There is must be" is not correct English. The obvious typing error ("there's") appears to have been copied onto on a number of websites containing guidance for English learners. Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 9:47

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