''To go/left'' without "there is" and "there are''

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Hello everybody,

Both "to go" and "left" are used to say ''there is something remaining''. Normally they are used with "there is" and "there are". But "there is" and ''there are'' can be omitted. My question: When is it preferable to omit "there is" and "there are" with the phrases "to go" and "left"? Is it in informal language?

Two examples that I made:

a. John, five minutes to go. (someone telling someone else that they have five minutes before a show that they're going to do)
b. Five dollars left. (someone telling someone else that they have only five dollars)

Thank you in advance!
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    When is it preferable to omit "there is" and "there are"
    I don't think that it is ever preferable, it is informal because there is not a full sentence (there is no subject or verb).

    However, obviously, if the listener is fully aware of the context then this form of minimalism is permissible and has a degree of urgency about it. I feel sure that in Portuguese, the similar ellipsis is used:

    Imagine X arrives from the supermarket carrying bags of groceries. Y helps him unpack. Then:
    Y: Apples? -> [By this Y means "Did you buy any apples? I wrote them on the list I gave you."]
    X: Damn! I forgot them.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    a. sounds fine.

    It's hard to imagine a scenario for b.

    +How much you have left?
    - Five bucks.


    Or

    I've got five bucks.

    It seems like left is more naturally part of the question than the answer.

    This is definitely conversational English where you are not using full sentences.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    When is it preferable to omit "there is" and "there are" with the phrases "to go" and "left"? Is it in informal language?
    In "utterances" (not "sentences") in casual conversation, it is acceptable to omit anything! There are no rules at all. If the listener understands it (based on context), you can say it. But in "correct grammar", we use actual sentences and we don't omit "There is/are".

    But in your second example, it isn't idiomatic to use "There is/are" in English. Instead we use "have", if he is talking about his money. The full sentence is "I have five dollars left".
     
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