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Consider these

There is an apple, an orange and a banana on the table.

There are an apple, an orange and a banana on the table.

which one should I use?

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If you reorder the sentence, you will see the answer:

An apple, and orange, and a banana are on the table.

So, you should say

There are an apple, an orange and a banana on the table.

The number of "there is/are" should agree with the grammatical number of the subject, which is the series, and it is taken as plural, though its elements are all singular.

Sometimes "there's", a contraction of "there is", is used in informal contexts even with a plural subject. See this link for more information:

Cambridge "there is/are"

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"There are" sounds bad when it's followed by a list of items. It is often better to use the singular verb 'is' in a construction like this :

There is a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom in my apartment.

Source : https://www.grammarly.com/blog/there-is-there-are/

As you are mentioning a list of items, each beginning with the indefinite article 'a'/'an' you may write :

There is an apple, an orange and a banana on the table.

But to avoid the confusion, it's better to rewrite the sentence like this :

An apple, an orange and an banana are on the table.

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  • "There are" sounds bad when it's followed by a list of items. Does “There are five apples, ten oranges and six tomatoes” sound bad? Be careful when writing an answer, be as precise and as specific as you can. The link in your answer is a good one, note when they say "there is" can be used in lists. By the way, there is no confusion but your work round is a good alternative. – Mari-Lou A May 18 at 8:58

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