Where you've got a plural amount of things, but there's only one of each item, we tend to use "there is" rather than "there are":
In the above article, note the section on single items being counted separately:
There is a ball. There is a box. There is a ball and a ball.
Actually, Tom is grammatically incorrect. Please change it back. The BBC is wrong in this case, except for certain small areas of England.
Oh dear. My intention was that both answers be accepted. I hope I've not caused too much trouble.
On a side note, I'd be very careful when throwing around the word "wrong"with regard to grammar. One man's wrong is another man's sociolect...
Except, of course, when referring to the BBC. I suspect this issue is related to another singular plural question which varies between U.S. and U.K. English: referring to entities such as companies or teams. The U.L. tends to use the plural, "Virgin Atlantic are planning a new route", whereas in the U.S., the proper usage is singular, "United Airlines is planning a new route."
Hm. Desperately need a few more native speakers of English from the U.S. :)
But you do both agree that "A ball and a box are on (in) the grass." means the same and is correct regardless of you dialect, right?
In my opinion (which seems rather in question of late...)
- There is a ball and a box on the grass
- There are a ball and a box on the grass
- A ball and a box are on the grass
I'm currently fighting over whether I'd accept: - A ball and a box is on the grass (everything I know screams "no", but it still feels oddly okay)...
My only worry with the current translation "A ball and a box are on the grass", is that it comes up in the lesson called "there is", which tends to suggest the translations should be "there is / there are" sentences.
But as an all round, catch all, grammatically sound, non-controversial sentence "A ball and a box are on the grass" is probably your best bet.
Even though I still fight for "There is a ball and a box".
On my own.
In the corner.
I'm with "There is a ball and a box..." and "A ball and a box are..."
Can't really explain the grammar there, but those are what sound the most natural, or "correct"
Generally "on" the grass, unless it's really long / tall grass, in which case "in"; probably at least partially obscured by the grass.
To the original question "ball and box is" would be absolutely incorrect in the U.S., and apparently of some debate in the U.K.
This question, though would be more important for the Russian-->English course than this course.
I just don't want our main translations to sound odd when it is totally avoidable. After all, this sentence is rather simple to translate (unlike sentences like "То́ма нет до́ма").
Another example from later in the course: Мои брат и сестра в школа. This translates as "My brother and sister are in school" (or at school). "is in school" would be incorrect here in all cases, yet it is grammatically the exact same construction as the ball and the box.
There difference here is that this sentence is formed around "There is...".
Where "there is" pops up, the singular/plural divide goes a bit funky for some reason, in some dialects.
Where the two things are the subject of a standard sentence, like in your example above, I completely agree that "is" would be weird and inappropriate.
But there is no fundamental grammatical reason why "there is" would be different. Except, perhaps, as you say, "in some dialects".
“the ball and the box are on the grass” “there are a ball and a box on the grass” how do you make the distinction in russian?
"The ball and box are on the grass" and "The ball and the box are on the grass" should also be correct answers for this question, no?
Extremely unlikely. This word order suggests you are telling the listener what is on the grass, not where the box and the ball are.
I admit, this course takes a simplified approach to this structure :).
Grass is трав... why then it's трава in the sentence на земле трава?????
It sounds like she's saying каровка - whuch may not be a word but I can only spell what I hear.
It does not. Despite the heavy compression, it is pretty clear a [p] is there, not an [f], which could not be that abrupt.
The quality might become an issue if it goes lower yet.