How to use there is / there are in English?
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We use there is (singular) and there are (plural) to talk about the presence of someone or something. It is translated as’there is’ in French:
- There is a book on the table.
- There are two books on the table.
In negative sentences:
- There is not a book on the table (on peut dire aussi: There is no book on the table)
- There are not two books on the table (on peut dire aussi: There are no books on the table)
In the questions:
- Is there a book on the table?
- Are there two books on the table?
To answer, you can say:
- Yes, there is / No, there isn’t
- Yes, there are / No, there aren’t
- There is = There’s
- There is not = There’s not / there isn’t
- There are not = There aren’t (not
Orally, there’s is more used than there is:
- There’s a party tomorrow night near the lake.
- There’s some pizza in the fridge.
Note: even if this is incorrect, English speakers often use there’s orally, even if they speak several things:
- There’s four other people waiting outside.
There was / There were
In the past, we use there was (singular) and there were (plural):
- There was a spider in the kitchen.
- There were children playing in the park.
Constructions with There / auxiliary / be
- There will be
- There is going to be
- There used to be
- There could be
- There should be
- There would be
- There must be
Some examples of possible uses:
- There will be too many people.
- There could be a problem.
- There should be a solution.
- There must be toilets nearby.
⚠ BE CAREFUL !
1 – To express duration, we use Ago
- I went to Tokyo two weeks ago. (et pas ‘I went to Tokyo there’s three weeks’)
2 – Don’t confuse: They’re, Their, and There!!
- They’re = They are
- Their = possession