I went to a house and asked for help. The man there was very kind and said, “Come in and keep warm.”

I have the mentioned sentences in the book. Is it normal to use "there" between "man" and "was"? I don't see pretty much examples on the internet (Google Books) of "The man there was very". I suppose I can say then:

"The man in the house was very kind and said"...

Is it possible?

As I know it's not standard word order. Right? Why is it used? For shortness?

If it's possible to transform the second sentence into the sentence with standard word order with the same meaning, please do it.

1 Answer 1


This usage is correct, though it is a very controversial matter about adverbs modifying noun phrases. In the link you will find the example

The opportunities here are endless.

Here does modify the opportunities, but I will let you decide whether you want to call it adjective or adverb.

I will quote M-W, with which I personally agree:

there adjective
used for emphasis especially after a demonstrative pronoun or a noun modified by a demonstrative adjective

  • Those men there can tell you.

In you sentence it basically means, the man [that was] there, that is, in that house that was referred to in the previous sentence. By using there, the repetition of the word house was avoided.

  • Is it possible to say "The man in the house was very kind and ..." or it doesn't idiomatic?
    – Sergei
    Aug 7, 2022 at 13:11
  • It is idiomatic, no problem with it, except that you will repeat twice house and that is usually avoided, especially in written texts. I went to a house and asked for help. The man in the house was very kind...
    – fev
    Aug 7, 2022 at 13:15

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