1. How many dragon heads are on the wall?
2. How many dragon heads are there on the wall?
3. There are five dragon heads on the wall.
4. There are the five dragon heads on the wall.
5. Five dragon heads are on the wall.
6. The five dragon heads are on the wall.
[Which question is correct? Can we use both? Then which one is commonly used? What about the pattern 'There + be..."? Is it ungrammatical if we use 'the' as in #4? What about #5 and #6 as well?]
Yes, either 1 or 2 can be used. Q1 is slightly better because "there" in Q2 is not really needed.
The difference between 3 and 4 and between 5 and 6 is what "the" implies.
3 and 5 mean there are lots of different dragon heads available, and five of them are on the wall.
4 and 6 mean there are only five dragon heads, and all are on the wall.
posted by Writeacher