You need to be extra careful with sentences that begin with there is or there are. Which one should you use – and how can you be sure you’re right? And what about there go and there goes?
There’s a trick! All you have to do is to reverse the sentence (switch it around). For example, “There is” becomes “is there.” Luckily this is easy to do, making it simple to get the verb right.
Take a look at these examples. The reverse is in brackets:
There is a reason assaults are down in that neighborhood. [Think: a reason is there = there is a reason] CORRECT
There go two fine officers. [Think: two fine officers go there = there go two fine officers] CORRECT
There was/were two messages for you this morning.
Here is/are the receipt you were looking for.
There go/goes my chance for a transfer.
Here are the correct answers:
There were two messages for you this morning. [Think: two messages were there] CORRECT
Here is the receipt you were looking for. [Think: the receipt is here] CORRECT
There goes my chance for a transfer. [Think: my chance goes there] CORRECT
You can download a free handout about Subject-Verb Agreement at this link: http://bit.ly/SubVerbAgreement