There are lots of reasons why the road shouldn't be built

Answer : Lots of reasons = the subject ✔️

There is the subject ❌ ❌ ❌

There or here is never the ( subject ) many books confirm this idea

Sorry for my question

If million people say there = the subject, I will not be satisfied, because of one reason : If (there) is the subject, so why the verb follows must agree with the noun comes after there ?

Perhaps many say that there = dummy pronoun or empty subject . OK still the real subject which agrees with its verb, is the noun that comes after there or here.

In many instances the word ( there ) is adverb refers to a place.

The book there is mine. = adverb refers to a place

There is a little coffee left for you. = available ( i.e. found )

Even in our speech in Arabic we mean the same.

I know there are many faults with English language because many things with its grammar are still debatable. Because I love the English language, I really came to here to discuss this matter of grammar with native speakers only especially the ( US ).
Thank you all
With my regards

Attachment Here is it the rule from two books of grammar.

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It is also here from Cambridge (( 2 minutes ago )) I found There’s a woman waiting outside who wants to talk to you. (The real subject is the woman – she is waiting outside.).


  • See this usage chart showing that There are lots of reasons why... is far less common that There are many reasons why... (or several for a slightly less "emphatic" version). My advice would be to stick with many unless the context is very casual / informal. Jan 19, 2022 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


There are lots of reasons why the road shouldn't be built.

This is an existential construction, where "there" is a dummy pronoun functioning as subject of the sentence.

We know that "there" is the subject because it occurs as subject in an interrogative tag:

There are lots of reasons why the road shouldn't be built, aren't there.

Only pronouns are admissible in a tag like this, so not only do we know that "there" is a pronoun, we also know it's the subject.

Further evidence that existential "there" is the subject comes from the fact that it occupies the basic subject position before the verb, and in subject-auxiliary constructions it occurs after the auxiliary, as in:

Are there lots of reasons why the road shouldn't be built?

Incidentally, the expression "why the road shouldn't be built" is a subordinate interrogative clause (embedded question) functioning as complement of "reasons".

  • Thank you So, you @ BillJ say ( there ) = the subject or the dummy subject. I know many can answer in this way and I never agree with such answer. I want the ( real subject ) not the dummy one . I can offer you many good tips from books written by good grammarians. This analysis I don't want. Jan 19, 2022 at 13:59
  • @AhmadMohammad There is no doubt at all that "there" is the grammatical subject of the sentence, for the reasons I gave in my answer. Note that when talking in terms of grammar, 'subject' is a grammatical term, not a semantic one. The expression "lots of reasons why the road shouldn't be built" may be considered a 'displaced' subject, even though there is no simpler counterpart.
    – BillJ
    Jan 19, 2022 at 14:36
  • How about Lots of reasons exist for the road not to be built.? Jan 19, 2022 at 16:07
  • 1
    The subject would be "lots of reasons".
    – BillJ
    Jan 19, 2022 at 18:01
  • 1
    I quite like the way you point out we know that "there" is a pronoun (and we also know it's the subject) simply by virtue of the fact that Only pronouns are admissible in a tag like this. Obviously that might not be much help to a non-native speaker who doesn't know that only pronouns can be used in such tag questions. But even though most native Anglophones were probably never explicitly told / taught this fact, we all know implicitly that it's true (even those native speakers who've got no idea what "pronoun" means in the first place! :) Jan 19, 2022 at 18:09

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