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Hi, subhajit,

@subhajit123 posted:

What are the differences between the following sentences?

  1. Once upon a time, a lion lived in the jungle.

  2. Once upon a time, there lived a lion in the jungle.

  3. Once upon a time, there was a lion who lived in the jungle.

There are no differences in meaning, but in narrative style. (1) is the least usual, because "once upon a time" in initial position is typically followed by anticipatory "there." And (3) is also more usual than (2).

Hi, subhajit,

There are no differences in meaning, but in narrative style. (1) is the least usual, because "once upon a time" in initial position is typically followed by anticipatory "there." And (3) is also more usual than (2).

I don't find the (1) a case of rarity as we can come across many sentences after this fashion to convey one's past habits as in ' once upon a time ,he played cricket all day long but now he can play utmost an hour . The cases with the ancipatory ' there ' are much in evidence only  in granny's fairytale .

I don't find the (1) a case of rarity as we can come across many sentences after this fashion to convey one's past habits as in ' once upon a time ,he played cricket all day long but now he can play utmost an hour . The cases with the ancipatory ' there ' are much in evidence only  in granny's fairytale .

Hello, A.Rama krishna, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

I didn't say that (1) was a rarity but only the least usual of the three sentences, where — unlike in your sentence where there is a definite subject "he" — the subject is indefinite and what is being said about a lion living in the jungle is typically found in children's stories, where the use of "there" at the beginning of the story is so usual to introduce the main character.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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