"There's someone's at the door"
"There's someone at the door"

What does the second "'s" stand for, "is", "has", or it is a possessive or third person singular s?

Is it incorrect to say "there is someone at the door"?

Ps. I came across it in Touchstone 2 book. Sceenshot below:

enter image description here

  • 2
    You came across the first sentence in a learning book? I ask because it's utterly wrong.
    – Catija
    May 19, 2016 at 20:03
  • Realy!! I searched a lot to find what is it. So I guess it is a misprint then. It is in Unit 10, lesson C.google.com/…
    – user33000
    May 19, 2016 at 20:07
  • 2
    It's would be fine without "there's"... You can definitely say "Someone's at the door"... perhaps that's what they were trying to write. In this case, it is short for "Someone is at the door.".
    – Catija
    May 19, 2016 at 20:12
  • Yes it sounded strange to me, but then I thought "maybe there is a rule I do not know.". Thank you a lot.
    – user33000
    May 19, 2016 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


The transcription in the image is wrong.

It's likely an error on the part of the editors.

It should read in one of the two ways:

Now there's someone at the door.
Now someone's at the door.

Combining the two doesn't work.

In either case, the word being contracted is "is".

Leaving it un-contracted is also perfectly fine:

There is someone at the door.
Someone is at the door.

  • 4
    One context where one could use this unusual construct would be if the second 's was forming a possessive, as in: Now there's someone's dog at the door. But clearly that's not what's intended in this case.
    – J.R.
    May 19, 2016 at 20:38
  • Yes, that's certainly true! Nice point.
    – Catija
    May 19, 2016 at 20:39
  • 1
    In my part of the country There's someone's at the door or There's someone's been hurt would be colloquially normal instances of relative clauses, because we employ the null relativizer even when it represents the subject of the relative clause: "There's this guy lives two houses down the street." May 19, 2016 at 21:06
  • @StoneyB That's certainly worth noting but with the caveat that no text should be teaching that variant as "standard".
    – Catija
    May 19, 2016 at 21:18
  • 2
    @sina In relative clause where the relativizer (that or a wh- pronoun) stands for anything other than the subject of the clause, it can be dropped: the man [who] I saw. Some linguists call this 'absent' relativizer the "null-relativizer". Many dialects, including that I grew up speaking, allow this dropping with subject relativizers, too: the man [who] owns the bar on the corner. May 19, 2016 at 23:52

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