'there's a lot to see'

junxi3q

Senior Member
Chinese
I was reading a book on tour when I came across this sentence:

'There's a lot to see in Thailand.'

I think it means 'a lot of places to see' so I'm wondering if there's a mistake in the sentence. Maybe it should be 'There're a lot to see in Thailand'?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    No, Jun Xi, there isn't any mistake. "There's (there is) a lot to see in Thailand" is fine. Here the singular verb "is" refers to "a lot", which is a singular, non-count expression meaning "much". The writer could also have written the following sentence with the same meaning: There's much to see in Thailand.
     

    junxi3q

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    No, Jun Xi, there isn't any mistake. "There's (there is) a lot to see in Thailand" is fine. Here the singular verb "is" refers to "a lot", which is a singular, non-count expression meaning "much". The writer could also have written the following sentence with the same meaning: There's much to see in Thailand.
    So if I say 'There are a lot to see', that would be a mistake. Right?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Yes, it would in most circumstances. If you were talking about several individual things like buildings, you could use it in this context:

    We only saw five of those buildings today.
    Yes. There are a lot (many) to see.

    Whenever you aren't talking about individual things with the meaning of "many", then "There is a lot to see" is correct. Most of the time this will be the case. The example I've given above is somewhat unusual. "A lot" often means "much", though it can mean "many".
     

    junxi3q

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes, it would in most circumstances. If you were talking about several individual things like buildings, you could use it in this context:

    We only saw five of those buildings today.
    Yes. There are a lot (many) to see.

    Whenever you aren't talking about individual things with the meaning of "many", then "There is a lot to see" is correct. Most of the time this will be the case. The example I've given above is somewhat unusual. "A lot" often means "much", though it can mean "many".
    Thanks a lot, but still I don't quite understand. What I'm going to say is 'There are a lot of places to see' or 'There are many places to see'. So according to your explanation, I should say 'There are a lot (many) to see'. But why do you think it should be 'There is a lot (much) to see'? I think we should use 'many' to describe 'places', not 'much'.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Well, when you say "There's a lot to see in Thailand", you are not saying "There are many places to see in Thailand". You are saying "There is much to see in Thailand". If you have not introduced the idea of "several different individual things" beforehand, then saying "There are a lot to see in Thailand" makes no sense. People will ask "A lot of what?" When you say "There is much to see in Thailand", people don't need to ask "much of what?" They assume it to mean "many things" by itself. Used this way, it always takes the singular verb: "is": There is much to do today. There is a lot I don't understand about the philosophy of Sartre. There is a lot to see in Thailand.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The error made by natives is usually in the other direction, There's lots of things to see:cross::eek:.

    A lot means a collection, I suppose, and is singular, hence:

    There's a lot to see.:tick::)
    There are lots of things to see.:tick::)

    I imagine the problem, such as it is, comes from the apparent clumsiness of getting one's mouth round there are, pronounced thuurruh.
     
    Last edited:

    junxi3q

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The error made by natives is usually in the other direction, There's lots of things to see:cross::eek:.

    A lot means a collection, I suppose, and is singular, hence:

    There's a lot to see.:tick::)
    There are lots of things to see.:tick::)

    I imagine the problem, such as it is, comes from the apparent clumsiness of getting one's mouth round there are, pronounced thuurruh.
    What a nice example! Thanks a lot!:)
     
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