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I was studying the use of "there's" and "there is". I summarised their use. Is everything correct? "There's" informal but it is preferred. In #3, #4, and #5 "there 's" but not "there is" is used because, "there's" is preferred. In each of these most native speakers would use either "there's" or "there are" but not "there is".

A singular noun with a singular noun:

  1. "There is a hammer and a screwdriver in the car."

A singular noun with plural nouns:

  1. "There is a hammer and two screwdrivers in the car."

Plural nouns with a singular noun:

  1. "There are two screwdrivers and a hammer in the car."

Plural nouns with plural nouns:

  1. "There are computers and two desks in my room."

Plural noun with singular nouns:

  1. "There are two computers, a desk, and a sofa in my room."

2 Answers 2

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English is not my mother language but I will tell you my opinion!

1."There is a hammer and a screwdriver in the car."This sentence is correct! We can also say "There are a hammer and a screwdriver in the car."This sentence sounds awkward because the noun " a hammer "that follows " there are " is singular!In this case it's better to use " is".Some language commentators still insist on using "are" in sentences like this despite the awkwardness.

2."There is a hammer and two screwdrivers in the car."This sentence is correct! We can also say "There are a hammer and two screwdrivers in the car."Some language commentators still insist on using" are" in sentences like this despite the awkwardness.

3."There are two screwdrivers and a hammer in the car."This sentence is correct!

4."There are computers and two desks in my room."This sentence is correct!

5."There are two computers, a desk, and a sofa in my room."This sentence is correct!

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Yes, there's is informal for there is. In very casual speech it might also be used for there are.

Preferred by whom? There's is certainly not preferred in correct speech, but it is widely used in informal conversation.

There are is correct when speaking of more than one item, though we might well use there's in informal speech.

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  • Thank you very much! In 3 4 and 5 it is not wrong to use "there's" and "there is". Right? Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 9:45
  • Read my last sentence again! It is incorrect to say there is when speaking of several items, but there's could be acceptable in colloquial speech. Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 11:12
  • There is a hammer and a screwdriver in the car. There is a hammer and two screwdrivers in the car. There are two screwdrivers and a hammer in the car." - Declerk, Renaat (1991). A Comprehensive Descriptive Grammar of English, p. 269. Kaitakusha, Japan. The book says "There is" then it isn't impossible either. Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 15:53
  • OK, grammarly.com/blog/there-is-there-are seems to think it can be acceptable - see under There Is vs. There Are With a Series of Items Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 16:22

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