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new ways

THERE IS - implies space parameter
EXIST - implies existentiality

what other ways are available to express something cleanly, without implying - inadvertently creating unrequired

there are 5 possibilities to do that
5 possibilities exist to do that
5 possibilities are


  • @liyviyvuvo
    First of all, possibilities to do that is problematic.
    In almost every context I can think of it's ungrammatical.

    I can just about accept possibility to do that as meaning
    'opportunity that has been provided so that someone can do that',
    but I don't think this is what you have in mind.

    If you want to include the notion 'do that', then I think it has to be one of these expressions:

    • possible ways of doing that
    • possible ways that that can be done

    Of course, if the norion can be 'understood' from context, it would be simple to write the single word

    THERE IS - implies space parameter
    EXIST - implies existentiality

    The differences between the three are grammatical.

    1. NOUN PHRASE is/are
      Except for some contrived stylistic effects this is ungrammatical without a second NOUN PHRASE

    2. There is/There are NOUN PHRASE
      The only common use of the is when the NOUN is followed by a POSTMODIFYING PHRASE establishing the REFERENCE. For example
      There is always the possibility that he won't come
      Even here, INDEFINITE REFERNCE is acceptable
      There is always a possibility that he won't come

    3. NOUN PHRASE exists/exist
      Normally, the NOUN PHRASE must have UNIQUE REFERENCE.
      So it would be extremely strange, if not ungrammatical to write.
      A possibility exists.
      without some explanatory continuation such as
      that he won't come

    Using these three devices to identify possibilities, the obvious difference between [1] and the other two is that

    • in the former the identification is in the same clause
    • in the latter the identification is in a * second clause**

    The difference between [2] and [3] is not a question of 'spacial parameter'.

    • To say that something has a location is to say that it exists.
    • To say that something exists is to say that it has a location — even if that location is unstated, or even unknown.

    As I said, the difference lies in INDEFINITE vs UNIQUE REFERENCE.
    Take the notion of a divinity

    • From the perspective of a polytheist culture, English uses the expression a god.
    • From a Judaeo-Christian cultural perspective, English uses the expression (and spelling) God.
    • From a perspective that recognises without necessarily sharing a Judaeo-Cristian perspective, English may use the expression (and spelling) a God.

    These choices determine the grammar of the NOUN PHRASE, which in turn determines whether to use expression [2] or [3].

    • From the second perspective you may say/write God exists or God does not exist.
    • From the third perspective you may say/write There is a God or There isn't a God.

    For a believer, the location of God is — everywhere.

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