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Which one of the following is grammatically correct?

a) There is a theater, a cafe, and a shop near the park center.

b) There are a theater, a cafe, and a shop near the park center.

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  • The question reminds me of a question about "a cafe on the corner".
    – Jasper
    Dec 21 '15 at 1:21
  • @Jasper: Sometimes, such of those simple cases make me confused. So, we always use there to talk about what exists?
    – aida
    Dec 21 '15 at 2:35
  • aida -- Sometimes "there" literally means "that place over there". And sometimes "there" is a placeholder in a sentence about whether something exists. Answers to this question might help other people who want to use "there is" or "there are" as a placeholder about whether thing(s) exist, so I added the "existentials" tag.
    – Jasper
    Dec 21 '15 at 3:39
  • @Jasper: I only could up vote you if my reputation score has surpassed the limit :), thank you!
    – aida
    Dec 21 '15 at 3:50
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The first one.

It's like repeating there is on every comma.

There is a theater, there is a cafe, and there is a shop near the park centre.

If you want to use are, you need the plural for each noun.

There are theaters, cafes, and shops near the park centre.

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  • Sometimes, such of those simple cases make me confused. So, we always use there to talk about what exists?
    – aida
    Dec 21 '15 at 2:18
  • Yes. There is/are for singular or plural things.
    – Schwale
    Dec 21 '15 at 3:27
  • am thanking you. Unfortunately, I can't up vote due to my low reputation score.
    – aida
    Dec 21 '15 at 3:48
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This is a rule of thumb:

  1. When talking about more than one thing, then you have to use "there are".
  2. When talking about one thing only, then you have to use "there is".

  3. When taling about uncountable things (mass noun) such as water, money, sky etc. normally is used to refer them as a singular. (there is water` there is money etc.)

For more detiles - read here:


Since your sentence detailes many things, then the correct option is:

There are: a theater, a cafe, and a shop near the park center.

  • The fact that you use an indefinite article before each word, doesn't matter and it's the same thing as the sentence: "A goose, a horse and a cow are in the farm".

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