Friday, 20 July 2012


There is/are

There is/There are are common phrases in English, used to indicate that something exists - or does not exist - or it is in a certain location. 

The real subject usually comes after there is or there are.

There is is used for singular nouns or things you cannot count.

  • There is an apple on the table.
  • There is a toilet upstairs.
  • There is a cinema in my town.
  • There is oil on the pavement.

There are is used for plural nouns; that is to say we use there are with a plural subject.

  • There are two parks in my neighbourhood.
  • There are 600 students in this school.
  • There are four windows in my room.
  • There are a lot of flowers in this park.

To say the opposite - the negative form of this structure - we use there isn't  (is + not) or there aren't (are + not).

  • There isn't a telephone in the kitchen.
  • There isn't a balcony in this house.
  • There isn't ice on the lake.
  • There aren't two pictures on the wall. Just one.
  • There aren't chairs in my room.

 To make questions - to aks if something exists or it doesn't - just change the order of there is and there are.

  • Is there a balcony in the flat?                         Yes, there is - No, there isn't.
  • Is there a post office near here?                     Yes, there is - No, there isn't.
  •  Are there two telephone lines here?           Yes, there are - No, there aren't.
  •  Are there cafés in this neighbourhood?         Yes, there are - No, there aren't.

To express the idea of quantity, we usually use some and any with there is and there are. This happens when we have to mention an unspecified amount of something, for example, when we are using uncountable nouns. 

  • There is some water in the bottle.
  • There are some Spanish students in this class.
  • There are ten windows in this house.
  • There are two school in this neighbourhood.
 We use SOME for affirmative forms and ANY for negations or questions.  

  • There is SOME egg in the pasta.
  • There are SOME immigrants in our nation.
  • Is there ANY cool water in the fridge?
  • Are there ANY ideas for this project?
  • There isn't ANY fruit.
  • There aren't ANY restaurants open at this time. 
To enlarge this explanation click HERE and you will find some useful extended explanatory notes.

And now... watch the video that will clarify your doubts!


Clink on the exercises below to practise there is & there are

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