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There is/are progress and improvements.

Which would be correct? There ARE progress and improvements. There IS progress and improvements.

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I agree that IS sounds better, and removing the 's' would help; but what if the sentence were turned around:
Progress and improvement IS or ARE...?????

greenspark February 23, 2009 @ 6:44AM

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There are . . . .

1. Even though a singular word is closer to the verb, the verb is referring to 2 things: progress and improvement. Being close to the verb has nothing to do with this.

2. Often, something sounds right simply because we are accustomed to hearing it wrong. Example: "The data is correct" may sound right, but it isn't.

3. Whether or not "improvements" is plural is irrelevant. The verb is referring to two things. We use "are" when referring to more than one thing.

4. See #3. Also, the second example given as a correct version is a run-on sentence.

5. Yes.

6. That doesn't answer the question. The verb is/are is referring to two things (i.e., progress AND improvement). We use "are" when referring to more than one thing.

7. Yes. (Random Person has the right idea but for the wrong reason).

info March 9, 2009 @ 7:50PM

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I would so not write that sentence, but if it were necessary to have it composed in that way, I would say "there is." Of course, that's because, if I'm forced into an awkward sentence, I want the reader to move over it as quickly as possible, and I perceive "there is" would cause less stumbling, not because I'm convinced it's grammatically exact. I can't find the reference right now, but I was looking this up recently and found that the rule is tending toward making the verb match the closer word. "There are improvements and progress" versus "There is progress and improvements."

Some examples, perhaps more obvious, that we expect "There is":

There is such love and joy in my heart.

There is enough time and money to go on vacation.

There is cheese and meat for sandwiches.

The source I was looking at said these were becoming correct because that's what we're coming to expect. Officially, the construction is still "informal," which brings me back to the idea that if that sentence is to be used in formal writing, I just would not use that construction. Others have made useful suggestions for the restructuring that I'll not repeat.

scyllacat April 12, 2009 @ 1:43PM

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