Grammar Patterns

there be det N about n

there be det N about n

The noun comes after there, the verb be, and a determiner (usually a), and is followed by a prepositional phrase which consists of about and a noun group. This pattern is productive: the nouns listed below give an idea of the kind of nouns that have it.
therebedeterminer Naboutnoun group
Thereisa fascinationaboutmap-making.
Therewasasolidlookaboutthem.
Nouns with this pattern refer to qualities. There is often an adjective before the noun, or some other words that describe the quality further.
There's a buzz about the town, but they've got no tradition.
Sufferers from hay fever will no doubt feel that there is an inevitability about the arrival of their symptoms with the spring and summer.
There was a terrible sadness about their plight that could be appreciated even by those who deplored their affiliations.
With feel, feeling, look, and quality, there is usually an adjective before the noun.
There is a slightly surreal feel about the book.
There was an elusive quality about Robert that only served to strengthen my attraction to him.
Element and sense are always followed by a prepositional phrase beginning with of.
There was an element of irony about what was happening.
There's a sense of urgency about this presidential election, an urgency brought about by difficult economic times.
Air and aura are always preceded by an adjective or followed by of.
There was a theatrical air about the whole scene.
Throughout the last round there was an air of confidence about him, a bounce in his walk, an eagerness that never became impatience.
  • air
  • alertness
  • ambiguity
  • aura
  • beauty
  • buzz
  • calmness
  • charm
  • circularity
  • clarity
  • coldness
  • confidence
  • coolness
  • detachment
  • determination
  • elegance
  • element
  • emptiness
  • energy
  • excitement
  • familiarity
  • fascination
  • feel
  • feeling
  • fragility
  • freedom
  • freshness
  • gentleness
  • glamour
  • grace
  • grandeur
  • honesty
  • humour
  • inevitability
  • informality
  • innocence
  • intensity
  • irony
  • logic
  • loneliness
  • look
  • magic
  • menace
  • mystique
  • neatness
  • openness
  • ordinariness
  • passion
  • peace
  • poignancy
  • predictability
  • profundity
  • purity
  • quality
  • quietness
  • radiance
  • restlessness
  • sadness
  • sameness
  • sense
  • serenity
  • seriousness
  • sharpness
  • simplicity
  • sincerity
  • softness
  • stillness
  • strength
  • sweetness
  • symmetry
  • timelessness
  • toughness
  • unreality
  • urgency
  • vagueness
  • vulnerability
  • warmth
  • Productive use

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