is / there are
your example of there is, Tanya, it is as if the items are
being counted separately:
a chair and there's a table in the room SO there's
a chair and table in the room.
are three chairs and a table in the room.
table and three chairs in the room.
general rule is that the verb form matches the item(s) that it is
the accused or the witnesses were lying. They couldn't
both be telling the truth.
the witnesses or the accused was lying. They couldn't both
be telling the truth.
that we do not usually begin sentences in English with an indefinite
noun phrase. We could say:
knife and (a) fork were on the table.
we usually don't. If we want to say that something exists, we usually
start the sentence with the empty?grammatical word there and say:
a knife and (a) fork on the table