# There <is><are> two meters

##### Senior Member
There is/ there are two meters between you and me.
Which is correct? Thanks.

• #### The Newt

##### Senior Member
If by "two meters" you mean a measurement of space then "there is two meters" would be usual in American English.

#### de Janas

##### New Member
If by "two meters" you mean a measurement of space then "there is two meters" would be usual in American English.
Really? ☹️
Surely it's more correct to say "There are two metres between you and me"?
Or, "There is a distance of two metres between you and me".

(Vladv...please ignore the spelling of meters/metres...it's an American English/British English difference. I'm illustrating the use of "is/are).

#### Andygc

##### Senior Member
"there is two meters" would be usual in American English.
In BE "there's two metres" would be usual in speech, and in writing "there are two metres" is much more common than "there is two metres".

#### The Newt

##### Senior Member
Really? ☹️
Surely it's more correct to say "There are two metres between you and me"?
[...]
It depends on how you look at it. If there were two dollar bills on a table I might say "There are two dollars / pounds on the table," but if it were a five-dollar bill I'd probably say "There's five dollars on the table." The question is whether you're referring to objects, which can be plural, or to their values. "Two metres" sounds like a value.

#### Loob

##### Senior Member
Unusually, I disagree with Andy. In the unlikely event I needed to say that sentence, I would, like The Newt, treat "two metres" as a distance and say "There is ..."

I was exhausted, but there was still ten miles to go.

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#### Andygc

##### Senior Member
I would, like The Newt, treat "two metres" as a distance and say "There is ..."
I am entirely happy that you should disagree with me, but would you really say that ? Wouldn't you say "There's"?

#### Loob

##### Senior Member
I am entirely happy that you should disagree with me, but would you really say that ? Wouldn't you say "There's"?
Apologies: I should have said that I would say "There's", but it would represent "There is"

#### Roxxxannne

##### Senior Member
I agree with @The Newt. In this context I would treat the space between us as a single distance that I measure by eye and describe as made up of two units of measurement. Since it's one distance, I'd say 'There's two meters between us."

#### natkretep

##### Moderato con anima (English Only)
'There's' is complicated by the fact that in speech it could be used when there are real plurals:

There's two things I need to mention.
There's five of us here.

If by "two meters" you mean a measurement of space then "there is two meters" would be usual in American English.
Or really, 'there is six feet' in AmE!

#### Kimaunz

##### Senior Member
Which one of the following is correct?

20 kilometres is too long a distance for me to jog.

20 kilometres are too long a distance for me to jog.

The first one is correct, so I guess "There are two metres between you and me." is not correct.

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#### Andygc

##### Senior Member
The first one is correct, so I guess "There are two metres between you and me." is not correct.
Of course it's correct. It may not be idiomatic for some people.

#### Tegs

##### Mód ar líne
"There are two metres between you and me." is not correct.
You are wrong to come to this conclusion based on your other example.

As several native English speakers have said, both "is" and "are" are correct in the original sentence.

#### Loob

##### Senior Member
Out of interest, @Andygc, would you still use the plural with Nat's "six feet"?
In other words - using the past tense as it's easier to see the distinction - would you say "There were six feet between you and me"?

#### Andygc

##### Senior Member
I really don't know. It's such an unlikely sentence. I'd say "We were six feet apart".

#### Kimaunz

##### Senior Member
You are wrong to come to this conclusion based on your other example.

As several native English speakers have said, both "is" and "are" are correct in the original sentence.
Thank you for letting me know.

#### Roxxxannne

##### Senior Member
I really don't know. It's such an unlikely sentence. I'd say "We were six feet apart".
It's not at all unlikely in the US; we spoke of there being six feet between us quite often in 2020-2022!
Or really, 'there is six feet' in AmE!
Yes, of course. I started writing 'six feet' in #9 but reverted to 'two meters' so as to avoid getting into the meters/yards and feet issue.

In reality, for me it's a single distance made of six foot-long (or two yard-long) units of measurement. Since it's one distance and since short distances in the US are spoken of in feet rather than yards, I'd say 'There's six feet between us."

#### Andygc

##### Senior Member
I'd say 'There's six feet between us.
But so would I. There's is commonly the contraction for both there is and there are. (Post 10)
I was exhausted, but there was still ten miles to go.
I had a think about this. I suggest that people (including me) are inconsistent. That seems a perfectly reasonable sentence, and I'm not sure if I would say was or were. But I'm out for a long walk and my friends and I have just reached the crest of a ridge: "I'm a bit whacked and there are still ten miles to go." I really would not say "there is" in that situation and probably not "there's". It would be "there're".

#### Roxxxannne

##### Senior Member
But so would I. There's is commonly the contraction for both there is and there are. (Post 10)
#17 was directed at natkretep who pointed out that two meters is six feet in American, so I answered that indeed in the US I would say there's six feet between us, instead of 'there's two meters between us,' which I had said in #9.
I had a think about this. I suggest that people (including me) are inconsistent. That seems a perfectly reasonable sentence, and I'm not sure if I would say was or were. But I'm out for a long walk and my friends and I have just reached the crest of a ridge: "I'm a bit whacked and there are still ten miles to go." I really would not say "there is" in that situation and probably not "there's". It would be "there're".
I would spend an hour or two sitting quietly on the crest of the ridge looking at the view and thinking about whether to say 'there are/there're ten miles' or 'there is/there's ten miles.' Eventually I would say 'there are/there're ten miles,' because I am thinking of them as one \$#&\$ mile after another rather than a single distance made of ten units.

#### Andygc

##### Senior Member
I would spend an hour or two sitting quietly on the crest of the ridge looking at the view
There're two sandwiches left in my rucksack - would you like one while we're sitting here?

#### Roxxxannne

##### Senior Member
Gee, thanks! I hope neither is liverwurst. Want some water?