There is or There are

There is or There are


 

There is/There are is a common phrase in English, used to indicate that something “exists”or is in a certain location.

The main subject follows the verb when there is/are is used.

  • There is an apple on the table.
  • There are some apples on the table.

Other forms of “be” can also be used with there is/there are.

  • There will be a party at Bill’s house on Saturday.
  • There were four witnesses at the crime scene.
  • There have been two robberies in the last five months.

Contractions are possible, but they are mostly used informally in speech.

  • There’s a fly in my soup.
  • There’re plenty of oranges left.
  • There’ll be a lot of people in attendance.
  • There’s is by far the most common contraction, and it is sometimes used inadvertently with plural subjects by native speakers.
  • There’s ten people outside!

Common mistakes

Since the expression there is/are usually has no equivalent in other languages, students sometimes use have instead.

Have a lot of food on the table.

It has a lot of food on the table.

There have a lot of food on the table.

There is a lot of food on the table.

(Incorrect)

(Incorrect)

(Incorrect)

(Correct)

See also :

Grammar : Subject-Verb Agreement

If you have questions or comments about this page, please contact us.

ESL Videos to help you speak English


English Greetings & Phrases

English Pronunciation

English – Introductions

Rosetta Stone – English

Speak English as a Second Language

Learning English – Lesson One