Explanations » A1 Grammar Explanations » There is, there are – there was, there were
Exercises Explanation Downloads
  • There is, there are – Use

    We use there is, there are to say that something exists.

    • There is a lot of noise. 

    Where something is

    We often use there is, there are to say where something is.

    • There is a good restaurant at the end of the street. 
    • There are some keys in that box. 

    When something happens

    We can also use  there is, there are to say when something happens.

    • There is a concert tonight.
    • There are a lot of storms in summer.

    A, some, any

    We often use  there is, there are + a, some, any.

    Educational grammar chart explaining the use of 'There is' and 'There are' with 'a', 'some', and 'any' for countable singular, countable plural, and uncountable nouns.

    Download full-size image from Pinterest

    There is + singular / there are + plural

    We use there is + singular noun, and there are + plural noun.

    • There is a new teacher in the school. 
    • There are some problems that we need to solve.

    We use there is + a list of things if the first noun after there is is singular.

    • In the room, there is a bed, a wardrobe and two chairs. 


    There is, there are, there was, there were – Form

    Grammar chart detailing the form of 'There is', 'There are', 'There was', and 'There were' in positive, negative, question, and short answer forms.

    Download full-size image from Pinterest

    Present and past

    The past form of there is, there are is there was, there were.

    • There is a car in the street. ⇒  There was a car in the street.
    • There are some cars in the street. ⇒  There were some cars in the street.

    Short forms

    The short form of there is is there’s, but we don’t use a short form of there are. There’s is not used in short answers.

    • There’s a new secretary in the office.
    • There are two bathrooms in this house.  

    There are no short forms for there was/there were.

    In negative sentences, we often use the short forms there isn’t/there aren’t and there wasn’t/weren’t.

    • There isn’t any bread left. We need to buy more.
    • There aren’t any cookies in the jar.