Grammar Tip – There: Singular or Plural Verb

Susan’s question: “I saw this recently on a television network’s van: Now there’s a million ways to connect. Is this correct?”

Bizwritingtip response: Good catch. This is not correct. The author elected a catchy slogan over a grammatically correct one.

Whenever you start a sentence with “there” or “here” the verb agrees with the closest noun that follows. In this case, the closest noun is “ways.” (Million is an adjective.) The verb has to be plural.

However, “there’s” is the contraction for “there is” or “there has.” Both are singular. They cannot be followed by a plural noun.

Examples (when the noun is plural)

There are a million ways to connect.
There are fifty ways to leave your lover.
Here are the reports you requested.

Examples (when the noun is singular)

There’s something about Mary.
There’s got to be a solution to the problem.

And they say no one pays attention to grammar anymore! I am impressed, dear reader.