Sentence "A pencil is on the desk"

  1. There is a pencil on the desk.
  2. A pencil is on the desk.
    #1 is correct. Is #2 also acceptable?

Both sentences are correct and acceptable.

If somewhat “unreal”, somewhat EFLese. :wink:

I see nothing ‘unreal’ about either of them. Two simple descriptive sentences.

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I agree with Skrej.
And whether or not they will also be “natural” in context will of course depend entirely on the context itself.
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Sentences of this kind demonstrate useful structures which can be illustrated easily in e.g. a classroom, not phrases that are necessarily useful in themselves.

Cf. the use of similar sentences in philosophical texts: “The book is on the table” is a favoured starting-point for discussion not because it is epistemologically important, but because its content is unexceptional.

MrP

Why not use useful phrases instead?

It is a useful phrase. It teaches you a structure; it is easily illustrated; it requires no context; it does not distract you with its content.

MrP

  1. There is a pencil on the desk.
  2. A pencil is on the desk.
    What’s the difference in meaning between the above two sentences?

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There is no difference in meaning as they stand isolated, sitifan, though in context, there might be. Generally, #1 is the more common in conversation because the ‘existential-there’ structure moves the subject of the sentence nearer to the end, where it basks in a warmer spotlight of emphasis.
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Would you say the same for “My tailor is rich”? That’s one of the “natural” sentences they’ve been teaching for years in ESL classes in Spain. As you are always challenging me regarding “real” usage, please provide used examples of the sentence “A pencil is on the desk”, would you, Amy?

To you, Skrej, MrP and all teachers and students here: Say “no” to ersatz language. Say “no” to TEFLese.

Have you ever in all your life heard someone say, outside and ESL classroom, “There is a pencil on the desk”, Mr M?

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Honestly? Many, many, many times, Molly (except that ‘there is’ is contracted, of course). It is as common as dandelions.

There’s a pencil on the desk-- would you hand it to me, please?
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Angelina: What are you looking for?
Brad: A pencil.
Angelina: But Brad, there is a pencil on the desk.

Yup, very TEFLese, or maybe an extract from Brideshead Revisted. :lol:

OK, Molly. Please tell sitifan that he shouldn’t say ‘There is a pencil on the desk’ because it is TEFLese. And please tell him why you have the authority to do so.

If you’re telling him to use it, you must assume that it is you who has the authority. Do you?

Not sure why you’re getting all upset over this, Ralf. You have decided that the item isn’t somewhat “unreal” and/or somewhat TEFLese. Why can’t you be happy with your decision and allow me mine?

Because you are not open to reason. Three people give you what you want - examples of ‘such’. But you are not prepared to accept any of them, because you had already decided not to in advance. In Molly’s world there is no pencil on the desk, fair enough.

Where does that leave sitifan?

Without a pencil, obviously!

Remember, don’t try and locate the pencil on the desk, for there is no pencil. Instead, only try to realize the truth. There is no pencil, so don’t try and find the pencil. Then you’ll see that it’s not the pencil that’s on the desk, only your perception of the pencil on the desk.:smiley:

[size=75]A free pencil to anybody who can identify the quote I paraphrased. [/size]

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There is no pencil on the desk – only a spoon! :lol:

[size=75](Where’s my pencil?)[/size]
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