There is a large population

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Akasaka

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello everyone,
Is the sentence below correct? I feel something odd about saying there being a population. Or is it natural?

There is a large population in Japan.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello everyone,
    Is the sentence below correct? I feel something odd about saying there being a population. Or is it natural?

    There is a large population in Japan.

    Thanks in advance.
    It sounds odd to me. We might say Japan is highly populated or Japan has a high population, or even, more crudely, there are a lot of people in Japan. I suspect my worries are that what matters is population density, people/square kilometre, rather than raw numbers.
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    I think "Japan has a high population" is stretching the meaning of "high" too much -- "large" sounds better in Thomas's sentence. Numbers can be high, but not populations.
    But the question seems to me to be about the idea of "there being" a population. That construction is certainly odd, so....

    The best sentence would be "Japan has a large population."
     

    Akasaka

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Why? Why is this sentence odd?
    December has 31 days.
    There are 31 days in December.
    These two sentences sound correct to me. But
    Japan has a large population. -- correct
    There is a large population in Japan. --incorrect
    Why is the latter incorrect here?
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    Why?? You can't ask "why" about the English language! (Just joking).

    I think the reason ist that "there is" suggests the possibility of "there is not." December might have had 30 days, if the calendar had been so arranged. But Japan without a population is difficult to imagine.

    Anyway, we didn't say it was incorrect, just that it sounds odd. In 10 years, it may become the accepted way of saying it.
     
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