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Within us, the people of the United States, there is evident a serious and purposeful rekindling of confidence.

This sentence is from "Jimmy Carter inaugural address: Jan. 20, 1977" shown here.

What does the there-clause mean, and how common is this type of construction?

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This type of construction is not common in normal colloquial speech. It’s very formal-sounding. It has the same meaning as

Within us, the people of the United States, a serious and purposeful rekindling of confidence is evident.

or

Within us, the people of the United States, it is evident that there is a serious and purposeful rekindling of confidence.

there in the original sentence is being used as a pronoun. This is similar to saying there exists- that phrase is used in predicate logic and sometimes other contexts but it always sounds very formal.

  • Can you put 'evident' at the end? ...there is a serious and purposeful rekindling of confidence evident. – listeneva Mar 19 at 4:04
  • @listeneva yes you can, that’s another way to rephrase this sentence. – Mixolydian Mar 19 at 4:40

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