In a medical text I came across the following sentence:

Morphine and morphine-like drugs are the strongest painkillers there are.

I have never seen the usage of "there are" at the end of the sentence. So it sounded different and I can't make sure if it is all right to use it that way.

So, my questions are:

  1. Is it correct to put "there are" at the end of the sentence like that?

  2. Instead of a "...there are." structure at the end of the sentence, can I use "...out there."

  • 3
    There are would include drugs not available on the market, possibly experimental or confined to laboratories. Out there carries the sense of available to purchase or on the market. – Ronald Sole Mar 27 at 14:13

Both are perfectly correct and common. Here are some similar examples:

Love is the strongest force there is.

Billy the Kid is the cruelest outlaw there's ever been.

IKEA has the best ratio of hot dog price to hot dog quality out there.

I think I perceive two subtle distinctions in usage, however.

  • "out there" seems slightly less formal; "there is" and other conjugations is a little more poetic. But both suit a variety of contexts.

  • "out there" suggests to me a more strict comparison, the results of a survey or contest or something. It would sound a little humorous or cutesy in the sentence about love.

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