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where things are

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nurdug51, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. nurdug51 Senior Member

    Germany,German
    Is this sentence correct? It sounds odd to me without a subject, but maybe you use it in colloquial English.

    A museum is a place where old and interesting things are.
    instead of
    A museum is a place where there are old and interesting things.
     
  2. Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    Wisconsin
    English - United States
    It sounds odd to me, too, and I wouldn't use it.

    We do, however, say "Home is where the heart is."
     
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    Yes, it does sound a little odd. There's the famous Maurice Sendak children's book Where the Wild Things Are, but that only emphasizes that it has a bit of a literary flavour.

    By the way, it has a subject - 'old and interesting things' - but the more usual form has the pronoun 'there' as its subject.
     
  4. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    I think the problem has more to do with the specific sentence than the grammatical structure "where things are".
    "That is where John is." seems fine to me.
    "The Louvre is where the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory of Samothrace are." :tick:
    "The Louvre is where there are the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory of Samothrace." :cross: That sounds really bad to me.
     
  5. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    Well, the 'there' construction is used for introducing new things into the discourse. That's why it's odd not to use it in the original sentence. But the alternative form is fine if you already know about the things, or can assume them.
     

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