CatLin wrote:A question about Lillian's question?
I seem to remember reading somewhere that starting a sentence with there is considered weak. Is that true, or is that a Cat-ism--something I decided?
For example, I would write the sentence this way, to avoid starting with there:
No other family members appear to be...
There is nothing ungrammatical about starting a sentence with 'There is...' (see what I did there?), and at times, it's even the best way. For example, I can't think of a rearrangement of the previous sentence that would work any better.
But sometimes, the words "There is" or "There are" at the beginning of a sentence are unnecessary. For example,
There is a lady in my Bible study with purple hair...
...could be better written like this:
A lady in my Bible study has purple hair.
So if you find you have lots of "There..." sentences, you might want to see if they can be rewritten a bit tighter...but don't feel as if every 'There...' sentence is somehow wrong.
It's unclear whether Lillian's sentence was complete as is, or whether it was the beginning of a longer sentence. If
There appear to be no other family members
...is the complete sentence, then it's probably fine as is. But if the intent was to say something like
There appear to be no other family members who remember the Great Depression
...then a possible rewrite might be
No other family members appear to remember the Great Depression.