here/there is

yakor

Senior Member
Russian
Hello.
I'm still "fighting" with the "here is/there are". Not that I don't know what it means, of course, but nevertheless.. :)
-Here is a letter for you on the table.
It means "right here where I am, that is next to the table" You wouldn't say,"There is..."if the letter was in your hand or on this table which is next to you, would say? That is
-There is a letter for you on the table here.
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-Here is a letter for you on the table.=There is a letter for you on the table here.
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I'm still thinking that "there"/"here" at the beginning of a sentence points to the place where the subject is.
One just could say
-Here is a letter. But in this case "here" means that it is here, in your hands, or right here, where you are, without a clarification of the object on or in the letter is.
-There is a letter. "There" doesn't mean a certain place. But point to the fact that the letter is somewhere there. It could be here or somewhere else.
-There is a letter on the table.
It means that the letter is on the table, which is not right here but in some distance from you.
If you hold the letter in your hand you wouldn't say "there is a letter for you in my hand"
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    If you hold the letter in your hand you wouldn't say "there is a letter for you in my hand"
    You might.

    The key thing with "here" is that it is inviting. If you want to be friendly and the letter is in your hand or nearby, then you would probably use "here". If the letter is more distant, then you cannot use "here" so you need to use "there" ("There's a letter for you on the hall table"). However, you can also use "there" even when the letter is close at hand if you do not wish to be welcoming. You can even make it sound aggressive, such as saying "there's a letter for you" while handing it over. Saying "there's a letter for you in my hand" may suggest you don't want to hand it over.

    Note that where you do not provide a location, either by words or gesture, then "there is a letter" means that a letter exists, and "there" does not refer to place at all.
     
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    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm still thinking that "there"/"here" at the beginning of a sentence points to the place where the subject is.
    This is where you’re going wrong. Most of the time, the word there at the beginning of a sentence has nothing to do with where something is, only with the fact that it is.

    As you’ve already been told in previous threads, there has two main functions in English. It can be used as an adverb to mean there as opposed to here, indicating the location of something. Or it can be used as an expletive pronoun known as the ‘existential there’ (English grammar - Wikipedia).

    Typical examples of the ‘existential there’ being used purely for reasons of syntax:


    There’s a man here mending the washing machine (= A man is here mending the washing machine)
    I knew there was something wrong (= I knew something was wrong)
    There are not enough beds for all the patients (= We don’t have enough beds)
     
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    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    And if you said
    'I knew something was wrong there' you would be referring to a location of some sort where something is wrong.
    or if you said 'A man is mending the washing machine there,' 'there' would refer to a place, other than where you are, that is the location of a broken washing machine.
     

    yakor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    And if you said...
    Thanks, of course, for beliefs.
    But in our language, sometimes, the existential pronouns occur. It goes from the deep past. I believe that they lost their meanings with time at the beginning of the sentences..
    Immagine, many thousands years ago, some ancient residen comes into the wood shack in the deep forest and says "There...there the wolves are."
    None would ask "where?" The wood is around.
     
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