in the book there are...


Can we say so? Is there such a construction or I just made it up?

e.g. In the book there are stories about princesses.
In the middle there is a fountain.
  • Fabulist

    American English
    Yes, Werta, that's a perfectly acceptable construction. The normal word order would be "There are stories about princesses in the book," but it's quite all right to move "In the book" to the beginning of the sentence to emphasize the book rather than the stories. Ditto for middle and fountain.

    Usually, such sentences would not begin a paragraph. There would be some reference to the book or the location of the fountain (a square or plaza, for instance) first. For example:

    "Creeping down the street, Perkins suddenly encounters a large square. In the middle there is a fountain."

    In this case, you don't even need "there": "In the middle is a fountain." You don't really need it in the first sentence either, if you do this kind of inversion: "In the book are stories about princesses."