Grammar Lessons: There is and There are

There is and There are

We use there is and there are when we first refer to the existence or presence of someone or something.

For example:

  • There are 3 people waiting in the living room
  • There is a beautiful dog in the yard
  • There are three cats on the roof

The choice between the phrases there is and there are at the beginning of a sentence is determined by the noun that follows it.

SingularThere isThere is a stranger outside the house
PluralThere areThere are three strangers outside the house

Affirmative Sentences

This is the form to make positive statements with there is and there are

There is hospital in Nicoya
There are three universitiesin Liberia

Examples

These are some example of positive sentences using there is and there are:

  • There’s a letter on your desk. Julia brought it from the mail room.
  • There is one table in the classroom
  • There are three Japanese students in my class.
  • There is a new cafe in the centre of town which sells Indonesian food
  • There are two new buildings next to the school. They are both science buildings.
  • There is a map on the coffee table, please bring it to me.
  • There are two cars on the roof, scare them away.
  • There are many people at the bus stop
  • There are four people outside the office waiting for you

Negative Sentences

This is the form to make negative statement using there is and there are

There isn’t hospital in Nicoya
There aren’t three universitiesin Liberia

Examples

These are some example of negative sentences using there is and there are:

  • There  isn’t a ghost in the house
  • There isn’t anybody here
  • There aren’t many doctors around here
  • There isn’t a new teacher in the university
  • There aren’t students in this classroom
  • There aren’t two new employees in our company
  • There aren’t buildings next to the school.
  • There isn’t a spider under the bed
  • There isn’t milk in the fridge

Questions using There is and There are

This is the way to make questions using there is and there are

Is  therehospital in Nicoya?
Are therethree universitiesin Liberia?

Examples

  1. Is there a ghost in the house?
  2. Is there a TV in the living room?
  3. Are there museums in this town?
  4. Are there people in the stage?
  5. Are there two stranger outside the house?
  6. Isn’t there a major risk?
  7. Aren’t there any restaurants around here?

How Many + Are there?

How manyhospitalsarethere inNicoya?
How manyuniversitiesarethereinLiberia?

Examples

  1. How many people are there in this town?
  2. How many cats are there in the house?
  3. How many dogs are there in the park?
  4. How many countries are there in Europe?
  5. How many tables are there in this restaurant?
  6. How many people are there in this room?
  7. How many supermarkets are there around here?
  8. How many students are there in your class?

There aren’t + Any

  1. There aren’t any hospitals in this town.
  2. There isn’t any bank here.
  3. There isn’t a cat in the house
  4. There aren’t any banks in this street
  5. There isn’t any money in this house
  6. There aren’t any banks in the next town

There Is vs. There Are With a Series of Items

There is a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom in my apartment.
There is a cat, a hamster and a dog in the house

Exceptions in Informal Writing or Speaking

In speaking and in some informal writing, we use there’s even when it refers to more than one. This use could be considered incorrect in formal writing or in an examination:

  • There’s three other people who are still to come.
  • There’s lots of cars in the car park.
There is and There are
There are seven people in the hill

Discussion Questions using There is and There are

How many people are there in your family?
How many pets are there in your house?
Are there any good restaurants in your town?
Are there any good movies playing at movie theaters now?
Are there many students in your school / Highschool / University?

Describing your Neighborhood using There is and There are

I live in a small town in Honduras, in my community, you can find all kind of places, for example, you can go to the swimming pool which is located near the park.

There are three supermarkets and there is a bus station next to the bank. There are no airports or train stations in my town.

There is a hospital near the park and you can find two or three dugstores

There is and There are
There will be a new house in this neighborhood

Other Tenses

There was and There Were

There were and there was are used to talk about the past:

For example

  • There was a business conference at our hotel last night.
  • There was a bike in the garage, now it isn’t there.
  • There were two people sitting on that bench.
  • There were many people interested in the job

There will be

There were and there was are used to talk about the present:

For example:

  • There will be a ceremony in this park next Friday.
  • I think there’ll be loads of people at the festival.
  • There will be many volunteers in this park tomorrow
  • There will be a major even in this house.
  • There will be a winner
  • There won’t be a cake at the party.
  • There will be a major announcement this tuesday

Other ways to use There

The word «there» can be used in some other ways:

There seems

  • There seems to be a problem
  • There seems to be no reason for hesitation
  • There seems to be a consensus in the region among economists
  • There seems to be little doubt

There must

  • There must be a mistake
  • There must be reasons
  • There must be education for peace

There have been

  • There have been a lot of accidents today
  • There hasn’t been much rain lately.
  • There have been restrictions before
  • There have been no cases of smallpox
  • There have been no significant changes

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