Using 'there' twice in a row

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Myt
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Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Myt » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:52 am UTC

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"... and despite all the kids out there, there still weren't enough to convince the ice cream man to stop."


Recently I have been getting really bothered when I have two 'there's together as I wonder if it's even proper. How can you avoid doing something like the example above if 'there' ( let's say the playground for example) has already been defined without replacing the first 'there'? Secondly, is it ever proper grammar to have one word twice in a row?

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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:57 am UTC

Yes, I think that that is grammatically correct. If you had had "here" in the first clause, would it have seemed strange? The first "there" just means "not here", while the second is a dummy subject for a statement about existence.

Many function words can have multiple meanings, and sometimes you want to use both of them in the same sentence, and sometimes those uses happen to be right next to each other. Nothing wrong with that.
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Eastwinn » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:44 pm UTC

Might be a noob question.. but wouldn't wasn't be correct rather than weren't? I can't seem to decide. What is the subject of that clause anyhoo? there? Is there plural, singular, or what?

Not to derail the thread, of course.
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:40 pm UTC

"Weren't" is correct because it refers to "kids". "There" is technically the subject, but it's actually a dummy pronoun so it doesn't really mean anything without the rest of the sentence. And "there" is unmarked for either singularity or plurality.

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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Eastwinn » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:56 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:"Weren't" is correct because it refers to "kids". "There" is technically the subject, but it's actually a dummy pronoun so it doesn't really mean anything without the rest of the sentence. And "there" is unmarked for either singularity or plurality.


Oh that makes plenty of sense. Glad I asked because that's been puzzling me for ages. Thanks :D
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby phlip » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:46 am UTC

There, there; there's nothing wrong with their "there"s there.

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Velifer » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:57 pm UTC

phlip wrote:There, there; there's nothing wrong with their "there"s there.

Were you referring to their "there, there" there?
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:00 pm UTC

Their "there, there" they're using there is perfectly legitimate.

Hope that clears th'air on the matter.
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby diabolo » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:37 pm UTC

What about other words? I don't know... May may, maybe, be before June.
Although in this case I guess "may maybe" is likely bad form somehow (should be "might" instead?)... but what do I know? I'm French and therefore I suck at English, yeah!

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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:05 pm UTC

I think that works... though you could write it as, "May may be, maybe, before June."

That that "that" makes this sentence a little hard to parse doesn't make it technically incorrect, either.
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:54 pm UTC

Something is ungrammatical about that sentence, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I think you can only use "maybe" (as expressing uncertainty) in indicative statements, or maybe it's something to do with the syntax.

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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:57 pm UTC

If "may" and "maybe" together sounds ungrammatical, I suspect it's primarily because it's redundant.
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:01 pm UTC

Can you be able to be redundant?

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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby diabolo » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:56 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Can you be able to be redundant?

You could always try to manage to succeed in being able to be redundant, I believe I guess I think.

So is "it may, maybe, ...", or "it may, perhaps, ..." which seems a bit less weird, simply redundant or would it imply a lower certainty in the statement?
If it's the latter what would be the proper way to achieve the same effect?

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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Qaanol » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:49 pm UTC

What if I ask for permission to remain uncertain when renumbering the months?

May May maybe be before four for four is for April?

Edit: of course, any length sequence of “fish” and/or “buffalo” is grammatically correct…are there other words like that?

Edit 2: I think “heat” can be used as “fish” or “buffalo”, so long as we recognize the noun form is the plural for players on the Miami Heat basketball team, and must then be capitalized.

Edit 3: looks like “pike” fits the bill.
Last edited by Qaanol on Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:04 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:56 pm UTC

See, that one doesn't raise any brightly colored flags in my brain.

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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby firechicago » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:11 am UTC

I was going to say that I had had it with these constructions, but then I decided that there's just no "there" there.

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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Lazar » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:15 am UTC

firechicago wrote:I was going to say that I had had it with these constructions, but then I decided that there's just no "there" there.

Oh, there's "there" there, there really is.
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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:20 am UTC

How is "there, there" supposed to be consoling?

Also, I used to think the exclamatory phrase indicating agreement in the old times, "hear hear," was "hear here."

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Re: Using 'there' twice in a row

Postby phlip » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:52 am UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:How is "there, there" supposed to be consoling?

Also, I used to think the exclamatory phrase indicating agreement in the old times, "hear hear," was "hear here."

I have no idea, I can't find anything about the phrase's origin through Google.

Also, I used to think that too, and still think it makes more sense (though I wouldn't refer to "every day in Parliament Question Time" as "old times").

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
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