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What is an existential clause?



An existential clause is a clause, having a distinctive grammatical structure, which expresses the real or imagined existence of an entity.


An existential clause often introduces an entity into a discourse.

Example (English)
  • The clause construction “there + verb [typically be] + noun phrase” forms an existential clause, as in:

  • There was a man.
  • Generic
      An existential clause is a kind of

    Crystal 1985 114


    Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 1402, 1408

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