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Nowhere in the United States but in New Jersey ______ so many people per square mile.

  • a) there
  • b) there are
  • c) there is
  • d) are there

The correct one is d.

When I use are there?
Why is there are not correct, is it not about existence?

Can anyone here explain this to me?

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  • Sorry, I wrote the incorrect alternative. But the correct is d.
    – user17245
    Apr 13 '15 at 14:23
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    For the purpose of emphasis, nowhere sometime comes at the beginning of the sentence. And the verb comes before the subject. For example - Nowhere had I less expected to see her than in my house. In your sentence Nowhere in the United States but in New Jersey is an adverbial, and there is the subject, are is the verb. So the correct sentence is Nowhere in the United States but in New Jersey are there so many people per square mile. With there are in the blanks, there special stress will be missing, but not incorrect, in my opinion. Apr 13 '15 at 15:32
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From Practical English Usage by Michael Swan -

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We can use nowhere at the beginning of the sentence for the purpose of emphasis, and then auxiliary verb will precede the subject.

Example -

Nowhere had I less expected to see her than in my house.

In your example sentence, Nowhere in the United States but in New Jersey is a negative adverbial. There is the subject and are is the verb. So if it follows the same pattern it will be something like that -

Nowhere in the United States but in New Jersey are there so many people per square mile.

[I don't know if we use there are in the blank, it would be incorrect, but surely the stress factor would be missing. And it's recommended to use the inversion there. So it's better to stick to that.]

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  • 1
    Thanks for this reminder. I had completely forgotten this. +1 for that! :)
    – Maulik V
    Apr 14 '15 at 6:07
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"Nowhere in the United States but in New Jersey" is the subject of are.

There is a pronoun that takes the place of an explicit noun/noun phrase. Since you explicitly state the subject, the pronoun is not needed and sounds awkward if you put it in there.

It's like saying:

John he went to the park.

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  • 2
    I'd have thought the syntactic "subject" in OP's context is so many people per square mile - as seems more obvious if you reorder and simplify to So/that many people [per square mile] are in NJ [but nowhere else]. Apr 13 '15 at 15:35
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    @Man_From_India: It seems to me that with, say, Nowhere in the United States is so nice (or even just Nowhere is nicer), the word nowhere (whether further qualified or not) is the syntactic "subject". And it's singular, which is why the verb form becomes is there. In OP's context, as you originally commented, the correct verb form is are (imho because the subject is plural people, which I think makes this answer incorrect). Apr 13 '15 at 15:55
  • @FumbleFingers There is/are so many people per mile explains which is the correct verb. I agree with you. Apr 13 '15 at 16:50
-1

A much simpler answer is that "there are" implies a statement, while "are there" is a question. For example:

There are many people.

versus

Are there many people?
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  • 6
    True, but here are there is used not in a question, but in a statement :-) Apr 13 '15 at 17:04
  • /\ That's it. :D
    – user17245
    Apr 14 '15 at 17:29

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