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There are two sentences: 'Where is the restroom?' and 'Where is there a parking lot?'

My question is: are 'Where is there a restroom?' and 'Where is the parking lot?' also okay? If not ok, then why not? If they are ok, there surely must be conditions applied. What are they?

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These are both correct. When you use "there" it is more indirect than using the.

Where is there a restroom? Where is there a parking lot?

These questions imply uncertainty as to whether there is a parking lot or not. Also in this sentence "parking lot" and "restroom" are in the predicate of the sentence.

Where is the restroom? Where is the parking lot?

These questions assume that these exist and we only need to know where they are. In these sentences, "parking lot" and "restroom" are the subjects of the sentence.

  • thanks a lot Karlomanio. that's good explanation... just one thing: till now I thought I understood subject, predicate. I guess I'll have to revisit the concepts now. – shant Jan 13 at 15:01
  • @shant thanks. Using "there is" and "there are" can be confusing in many languages. That's the issue there. So review them. If you could mark the answer correct it would be greatly appreciated. – Karlomanio Jan 13 at 15:20
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Where is the restroom assumes the existence of restroom for the relevant place and asks about its location. Where is there a parking lot does not assume the existence of a parking lot for the relevant place, but asks about where other parking lots are. The implication is "where is the nearest parking lot?"

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