The screenshot pictured here is from Plants Vs Zombies 2. “There’s too many tombs. Let’s clear them out,” it proclaims. Seems like someone at PopCap forgot the final round of grammar checking.
The correct phrasing is: “There are too many tombs. Let’s clear them out.” ‘There’s’ expands unambiguously to ‘there is’, and “There is too many tombs” is simply not correct.
This error is even more common with ‘here’s’. You don’t have to look far to find problematic examples such as this one from Time Out
Here’s our top five albums of the month
Again, the correct version is “Here are our top five albums of the month”. “Here is our top album of the month” would be OK, but as soon as more than one album is involved, you need ‘are’. And if you think that sounds overly formal, consider “These are our top five albums of the month” or “Here’s the list of our top five albums of the month”. (With the same approach, if the Plants Vs Zombies 2 developers thought “There are too many tombs” wouldn’t fit, a simple “Too many tombs!” might have sufficed.)
How can you avoid these errors? Whenever you use an apostrophe to create a contraction, think about how the sentence would read if you expanded the contraction in full. If the expanded version is wrong, correct it or rephrase it. If you can’t tell the difference between apostrophes for contraction and apostrophes for possession, check out our detailed guide.
Yes, we’re grateful that the game at least managed to use the apostrophe correctly in ‘let’s’, but that doesn’t excuse the other error. Accuracy matters.
Lifehacker’s Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.