This clip is from an episode of the Table Manners podcast, which is a great podcast for getting practice with natural, relaxed conversational English. This episode features an interview with singer Gregory Porter.

Gregory is talking about how he used to get his mother’s attention by singing and cooking.

, , ?
there's 8 house, you a way special, you ?
there's 8 kids in house, you to find a way become special, you ?

…when there’s 8 kids

When we use ‘there is/are’, the official rule is to use there is + singular/uncountable noun (e.g. Watch out – there’s a glass of water next to your elbow) and there are + plural noun (e.g. There are several things you need to know about your new housemate).

However, in informal, spoken English, it is very common to hear people using there is + plural noun structures, as in the audio. This is a good example of the way that spoken English doesn’t always follow the rules of written English!

In situations like these, my advice to learners is that it is usually safer for you to try to stick to the rules, even though native and native level speakers sometimes break them.

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash.

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