Determining proper subject-verb agreements for sentences and phrases can be such a dizzy ride. Even those who have studied the English language have trouble with it. It’s especially perplexing to figure out whether to use plural or singular forms of words. So, let’s try to clear things about that now!
Is It ‘There Exists’ Or ‘There Exist’?
Formally, ‘there exists’ and ‘there exist’ are both grammatically correct! It all depends on the plurality or singularity of the noun defined by the verb ‘exist.’ To put it simply, we use ‘there exists’ if it refers to a singular noun or object. Then, we use ‘there exist’ to refer to a plural noun or object.
For example, ‘There exists a person with the name Anna’ is the correct sentence because ‘person’ is a singular noun. However, we say, ‘There exist some fruits on the dinner table,’ because ‘fruits’ is a plural noun. Let’s look into this further with more examples!
When Is It Correct To Use ‘There Exists’?
We use ‘There exists’ if the verb refers to a singular noun or object. A simple subject-verb agreement rule tells us that if the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular! Since ‘exists’ is the verb in singular form, it’s natural that we also use it for singular nouns!
Here are some examples below.
- There exists a black handkerchief in my closet.
- There exists a book about feminism.
- There exists a good leader in our school.
- There exists a band named The Beatles.
- There exists a movie entitled ‘Forrest Gump.’
As we can see, a handkerchief, book, leader, band, and movie, are all singular nouns. So, following the SVA, using ‘there exists’ for these sentences is correct and proper.
When Is It Correct To Use ‘There Exist’?
We use ‘There exist’ if the verb refers to a plural noun or object. Following the subject-verb agreement rule, if the subject is plural, the verb should also be plural! Since ‘exist’ is a plural verb, we also use it for plural nouns.
Let’s take a look at the following examples.
- There exist several black handkerchieves in my closet.
- There exist many books about feminism.
- There exist good leaders in our school.
- There exist lots of musical bands with good music.
- There exist many RomCom movies.
This time, handkerchieves, books, leaders, bands, and movies are all plural nouns. So, following the SVA, using ‘there exist’ for these cases is correct and proper.
Is It ‘There Exists Some People’ Or ‘There Exist Some People’?
Formally, ‘there exist some people’ is the grammatically correct and proper phrase. Looking at the noun ‘people’ here, it is a plural noun. Therefore, using simple subject-verb agreement, we also use the plural verb, ‘there exist.’
In honesty, you might have heard the phrase ‘there exists some people’ more than the correct phrase. ‘There exists some people’ is a phrase accepted in everyday writing and informal conversations and is why you might hear it more often. It is also commonly used by English speakers. However, ‘there exists some people’ is still incorrect academically and formally because it does not follow the SVA rule.
- Correct: There exist some people who love to dance.
- Incorrect: There exists some people who love to dance.
- Correct: There exist some people who took medicine as a profession.
- Incorrect: There exists some people who took medicine as a profession.
Again, ‘people’ is a plural noun, so ‘exist’ is the proper verb for these sentences.
Is It ‘She Exist’ Or ‘She Exists’?
‘She exists’ is the correct phrase to use. We use the singular form because ‘she’ is a singular pronoun that refers to only one girl. Like how we don’t say ‘she are,’ we also don’t say ‘she exist.’ Following the subject-verb agreement, we use ‘she exists.’
The phrase ‘she exists’ can be used in different ways. It can be directly used like ‘she exists a woman’ or ‘she exists as a woman,’ or even ‘is the way she exists.’ However, as you can see, no matter how you use it in a sentence, it will always be ‘she exists’ because it needs to follow the correct SVA structure.
- Correct: She exists a lady who is passionate about changing the world.
- Incorrect: She exist a lady who is passionate about changing the world.
- Correct: She exists as a woman who’s known for her tenacity and resilience in everything.
- Incorrect: She exist as a woman who’s known for her tenacity and resilience in everything.
‘Lady’ and ‘woman’ are still singular nouns, so ‘there exists’ is the grammatically correct phrase based on SVA rules.
Is It ‘Does Exist’ Or ‘Does Exists’?
‘Does exist’ is the grammatically correct phrase. ‘Does’ is a singular verb, and ‘does exist’ is used for singular nouns. For consecutive verbs, we only need the first verb to change tense (to follow the tense of the noun) while the second verb remains in its base form.
This might be confusing, compared to the previous examples, but let’s look into the concept of consecutive verbs. Consecutive verbs are two verbs beside each other wherein the second verb usually becomes the direct object of the first verb. In the phrase’ Does exist’ both ‘does’ and ‘exist’ are verbs, and they are consecutive.
�Since ‘does’ is the first verb, ‘exist’ becomes the direct object (What does it do? -> exist). According to grammar rules, if the verb is the direct object, it retains its original or base form, which is ‘exist’ in this case. So, ‘does exist’ is the grammatically correct phrase. However, don’t forget to take note that, since ‘does’ or the main verb is still singular, we use this phrase for singular nouns as well.
- Correct: A band named BTS does exist.
- Incorrect: A band named BTS does exists.
- Correct: A rainbow ballpen does exist.
- Incorrect: A rainbow ballpen does exists.
We use ‘does exist’ as the correct phrase, and not ‘does exists!’ In the examples, we also see that ‘band’ and ‘ballpen’ are singular nouns.
Is It ‘Already Exist’ Or ‘Already Exists’?
Both ‘already exist’ and ‘already exists’ are grammatically correct and acceptable! Following the subject-verb agreement rule, we use ‘already exist’ for plural nouns since ‘exist’ is a plural verb. While we use ‘already exists’ for singular nouns since ‘exists’ is a singular verb.
Like ‘there exist’ and ‘there exists’, these phrases follow the SVA rule. Whether your noun or object is singular or plural determines the use of ‘exist’ or ‘exists.’ It’s important to understand that ‘already’ is just an adverb, and ‘exist’ is still your main verb. Following the SVA rule, singular nouns are for singular verbs. While if the noun is plural, the main verb should also be plural.
- Correct: A floating car already exists!
- Incorrect: A floating car already exist!
- Correct: Three-sided flip phones already exist.
- Incorrect: Three-sided flip phones already exists.
As we can see, ‘car’ is singular, so ‘there exists’ is the correct phrase. While ‘phones’ is plural, ‘there exist’ is used.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.