Jul 24 2008

Writing Tip of the Day: Don’t Abuse “There’s”

Published by at 4:19 am under Sentence Structure,Writing Articles

1. Don’t let the contraction “there’s” lure you into grammatical traps. “There’s” means only “there is,” so it can’t be applied to plural nouns. I once asked an aspiring author if he really thought that publishers would want to buy a manuscript that he was pitching as “Tolkien in space.” “There’s many reasons to think they would,” he wrote back. That statement is incorrect (grammatically and otherwise).

2. Constructions like “there is” tend to create passive, slow sentences. For example, you might write “there are five buroughs in New York City.” It would be smoother to rewrite that as “New York City has five buroughs.”

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