Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

English grammar mistakes are often made by native speakers.

This can be very confusing for language learners!

Do you sometimes hear native speakers say ‘there is’ when they should say ‘there are?’

In today’s episode, you’ll learn why this mistake is so common.

We’ll also share when you can make this same mistake.

There is and there are

A common mistake made by native speakers is using ‘there is’ when they should be using ‘there are.’

Native speakers usually don’t even notice this mistake.

They even shorten ‘there is’ to ‘there’s’ which makes it difficult to catch at times.

It is more difficult to say ‘there are’ or ‘there’re’ and quicker to say ‘there is.’

Lindsay referred to this as a mistake of convenience.

Native English speakers always want to speak more quickly.

Today’s episode has been inspired by a question that was sent by a frequent All Ears English listener.

Is there are chance you can tackle the problem of ‘there is’ or ‘there are’ in one of the All Ears English episodes? Three ‘theres’ in a row, must be sign! I don’t mean the more obvious usage like ‘There is a cat’ or ‘There are cats.’ I mean the case when we say ‘there is’ to refer to plurals. For instance, ‘There’s many ways to save money.’ Can you please explain what the rule is behind it?

Best regards, Claudia

When can you make this mistake?

Native speakers often make this mistake, which may confuse English language learners.

In most cases, you can make the mistake of interchanging ‘there is’ with ‘there are.’

However, you need to know when and why you should do it.

The overall rule is to check the setting you are in.

For informal situations with friends, family and coworkers, everyone can make this mistake.

If you are in a formal situation, like a job interview or doing a business presentation, it is best to use correct grammar.

What is the correct grammar?

‘There is’ must always be used with a singular noun.

Example:

There is a problem with our funding.

Why do you think there’s a lack of motivation?

‘There are’ must be used with a plural noun.

Example:

There are too many roadblocks to this project.

We need to consider that there are many options.

Contractions

Native English speakers often use contracted words when they speak.

They will almost always say ‘there’s’ instead of ‘there is.’

This common contraction can be used in informal situations when referring to plurals.

Example:

There’s a lot of things I need to do this weekend.

Roleplay

In this scenario, Lindsay and Aubrey are friends and they are sharing their weekend plans.

Lindsay: What are you up to this weekend?

Aubrey: There’s a lot going on. My daughter’s soccer game is tonight and then I’m going out after with friends and then going to an ASU football game tomorrow night.

Lindsay: Wow! That’s a lot.

Aubrey: What about you? There’s so much to do in Denver.

Lindsay: Yeah, we’re going hiking and meeting up with friends.

Aubrey: There are so many fun things to do! Never enough time on a weekend.

Takeaway

You don’t want to sound like a textbook when speaking English.

Learning a language is enabling you to make connections with people.

The All Ears English motto is “connection not perfection.”

It is highly encouraged that you speak like a native, and at times this means making the same mistakes natives do!

You can at times use incorrect grammar to build connections.

We want you to speak comfortably and sound more native.

It is always much more important to connect and build those relationships.

Listen to what the natives do and know that you can do the same.

What other grammar mistakes do you get confused with?

Share them with us in the comments below.

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