View Full Version : “There’s” and “There are”

30th November 2010, 06:31 PM
An odd-looking contraction I’ve noticed recently is “there’re” for there are.

Haiti Airport Baggage Handlers, There’re Just Too Many!
There’re too many kids
There’re Just A Few Days Left
If There’re Seasons…(song title)

Contractions are supposed to be easy to say. For example, they’re for they are is easy to utter, but adding another re to there to create “there’re” produces a word difficult to pronounce.

I wonder if this nearly unpronounceable contraction may have something to do with the proliferation of there’s to begin sentences in defiance of the rules of agreement between subject and verb: There’s ten members on the council.
Perhaps the speaker knows better, but is in “contraction mode” and at the last minute decides that ungrammatical there’s is a better choice than unpronounceable “there’re.”

Besides being difficult to pronounce, “there’re” looks peculiar. In writing intended to be read by others, it’s probably best to avoid such ungainly contractions as “there’re” and “where’re.”