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  1. #1
    Ord Retniap
    Guest

    Grammar Question - Part of Speech

    Sorry to take up an entire thread with this tiny question but it suddenly occurred to me that I have no idea what part of speech 'there' is when used in the following manner;

    "There is no soap in the bathroom."

    Is it a part of the verb 'to be'? Or is it something else?



  2. #2
    R. Radish
    Guest

    Re: Grammar Question - Part of Speech

    >>>"There is no soap in the bathroom."
    Pronoun, according to this:

    there
    pron.
    1. Used to introduce a clause or sentence: There are numerous items. There must be another exit.
    2. Used to indicate an unspecified person in direct address: Hello there.
    <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/there>

  3. #3
    Ord Retniap
    Guest

    .

    Thanks! Would you believe it didn't even occur to me to check a dictionary? The only excuse I can make for myself is that I was kept up all night by the a mouse running around my room - I'm mouse addled.

  4. #4
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: .

    Word painter, we haven't seen you in ages.

    Good question, actually. I had to think about it for a moment.


    Sometimes the easiest way to figure these out is to break the sentence down into its skeleton form.

    First get rid of the negative so it says simply:

    There is soap in the bathroom.


    Then simplify the whole thing:

    Soap is in the bathroom.


    With the sentence simplified, it's easier to see that "there" is indirectly referencing the soap, as Radish has explained, and soap is a noun. A "pro"noun is a substitute or indirect reference to a noun, thus "there" is a pronoun.

    Other examples of pronouns (words that stand in place of a noun) include:

    this (The cheese is in the fridge. This is in the fridge.)
    these
    I
    who (Was the baby in the car? Who was in the car?
    nobody

    et al

    --- Mya Bell

  5. #5
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: .

    Wow. Nice breakdown, Mya.

  6. #6
    June Casagrande
    Guest

    Re: .

    It's not a pronoun.

    It's a part of speech called an "expletive." And it's a very specific kind of expletive, known as the "existential there."

    "In grammar ... an 'expletive' is a word having no special meaning but standing (usually at the beginning of a clause) for a delayed subject. The two most common expletives are 'it' and 'there' at the beginnings of clauses or sentences." -- Garner's Modern American Usage

  7. #7
    June Casagrande
    Guest

    Re: .

    It's not a pronoun.

    It's a part of speech called an "expletive." And it's a specific kind of expletive, known as the "existential there."

    "In grammar ... an 'expletive' is a word having no special meaning but standing (usually at the beginning of a clause) for a delayed subject. The two most common expletives are 'it' and 'there' at the beginnings of clauses or sentences." -- Garner's Modern American Usage

  8. #8
    June Casagrande
    Guest

    Re: .

    I hate when that happens, (expletive deleted)!

  9. #9
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: .

    I just thought you wanted to get your point across

  10. #10
    R. Radish
    Guest

    Re: .

    The question was what <u>part of speech</u> "there" is in his example. It's a pronoun.

    Linguistically, "there" can function as an expletive. I've also seen it referred to as a "dummy subject." But neither expletives nor dummy subjects are parts of speech.

    expletive
    n.
    1. An exclamation or oath, especially one that is profane, vulgar, or obscene.
    2.
    a. A word or phrase that does not contribute any meaning but is added only to fill out a sentence or a metrical line.
    b. Linguistics A word or other grammatical element that has no meaning but is needed to fill a syntactic position, such as the words it and there in the sentences It's raining and There are many books on the table.
    adj.
    Added or inserted in order to fill out something, such as a sentence or a metrical line.

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