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When starting a sentence with "there are" is it necessary to put additional "THERE" in the sentence? Like in:

The Snieznik Mountains is situated in the East Sudets. There are a lot of charming forest areas (there), with the richest world of plants and animals in southwest Poland.

Is there any rule that tells you when to use or not to use additional THERE in sentences of that type?

  • Unrelated to your question, but I would always say "many forest areas" rather than "a lot of forest areas". I would only use "a lot of" for something uncountable, e.g. "There is a lot of good skiing there". – Michael Kay Oct 3 '15 at 0:25
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There are a lot of charming forest areas there.

The first there and the second there are completely different. The first there has no meaning. We use it because the English verb BE has two spaces. It has a space for the Subject before the verb, and a space for a Complement after the verb. Both spaces must be full for the sentence to be grammatical:

  • Is a problem. (ungrammatical - empty Subject space)
  • A problem is. (ungrammatical - empty Complement space)
  • There is a problem. (grammatical - both spaces are being used).

The last sentence is grammatical. But the Subject pronoun there has no meaning. It doesn't mean in that place. The sentence as a whole means something like a problem is or is a problem, but we aren't allowed to use those sentences in English. Some people say the sentence means something like A problem exists. This dummy Subject there does not mean in that place.

The second there is a preposition phrase. It tells us about the location of something. It means something like in that place.

The first there is obligatory. We have to use it. The second there meaning in that place is optional. We will only use it if we want to show that we are talking about something in that place.

There are a lot of charming forest areas.

... means something like:

  • A lot of charming forest areas exist

    There are a lot of charming forest areas there.

... means something like:

  • A lot of charming forest areas are in that place / exist in that place.

You can choose which sentence you want to use based on the meaning. The difference is that the preposition there is optional in the grammar. (It might not be optional in terms of the meaning you want to communicate)

  • In the very first quote (top of your answer) did you omit verb 'be' on purpose? – Victor Bazarov Oct 2 '15 at 12:34
  • Hmm ... a) The construction there is has a pretty precise (albeit precisely indefinite!) meaning in which the is piece is generally conceded to "have no meaning" -- can they both have no meaning? 0+0=1? :). b) In your last paragraph shouldn't preposition be PP or pro-PP? – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 2 '15 at 14:03
  • One thing I would add is that aside from the grammatical use, in the OP's particular example the second "there" is implied by the context provided in the first sentence and can probably be safely omitted for that reason without losing the meaning. (i.e. it is unlikely that after specifying a location, the author would then comment upon the universal existence of forests) – Blackhawk Oct 2 '15 at 14:40
  • @StoneyB Well, they can be taken in unison to have a procedural meaning, which affects our interpretation of the predicate NP, without having any lexical meaning themselves. Re there, I sympathise with your pro-pp. Of course in my grammar a P without a Complement is also a PP. But I take there to be a preposition which usually doesn't take a Complement. :-) – Araucaria - Not here any more. Oct 2 '15 at 15:07
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    X is. is grammatical, but contrary to listener expectations, so best avoided. There is of course that classic translation of Cogito ergo sum as I think, therefore I am. which is probably the best-known case. – Ben Voigt Oct 2 '15 at 16:27
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If you omit the second "there", then you didn't specify the location. The first "there" doesn't refer to any location:

There are a lot of people here.

The people are here. Nothing is there.


If the listener can guess the location, or the location is not important, then it's okay to omit the second there.

I love New York. There are so many pizza places.

The listener must guess that the location of the pizza places is New York.


In this sentence, "here" is omitted because it can be guessed by the listener:

I don't want to move to New York. There are so many things that I will miss!

The things that I will miss are here, not in New York.

1

There is no specific rule.

The second there refers to the mountains spoken of in the first sentence. You can use "in those mountains" or any other phrase that would be a stand-in for the "Snieznik Mountains" to avoid repeating the name:

The Snieznik Mountains are situated in the East Sudets. THERE ARE a lot of charming forest areas in that place, with the richest world of plants and animals in southwest Poland.

Note that since Mountains is plural, you ought to use "are" as the predicate. You can use "is" when speaking of "a lot" ("There is a lot of..."), as well, although "are" is acceptable.

  • Thank you for your feedback. I understand why the second "there" is used in the sentence. As you said - it refers to the mountains that were mentioned eariler. The question is: is it mandatory to use additional "there" (or any other sort of equivalent) in order to make the sentence sound correct? Could just "THERE ARE" at the beginning be used as the reference point to what I mentioned eariler? Like in: "I love new york. There are so many pizza places (over there)." Is it necessary to use "over there" or "There are" at the beginning is enough? – IGO Oct 2 '15 at 12:20
  • Since you're already talking of the mountains, you don't have to supply the stand-in. If it's omitted, it's going to be presumed, just like with your New York example. – Victor Bazarov Oct 2 '15 at 12:33
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You understand the second there all right, it shows the place.

What is important to understand that the first there is something completely different. Although it uses the same word letter by letter, it has nothing to do with places like there and here.

Most languages have various constructs to specify that something exists. There is and there are are the forms English uses for that. The following sentence will be grammatically incorrect but it will make you see the structure clearly:

*They exist a lot of charming forest areas there.

Surely, we can say that in a way that's correct:

A lot of charming forest areas exist there.

So, using there is or there are simply states that something exists. Consider it a fixed, compound structure that has its own meaning, not the meaning of the two words it's made of. And this means that if you want to describe a place in your sentence with a there or here, then yes, you have to add that separately, independent of this fixed structure.

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