Unit 3.2

There is and There are

Verbs

There is/are are expressions used in sentences that want to confirm, deny or check that something exists.

There is/are has the subject after the verb and we usually find them in their three forms:

Affirmative

Singular nouns: There is + singular noun/uncountable noun + …
Plural nouns: There are + plural noun + …

Negative

Singular nouns: There is + not + singular noun/uncountable noun + …
Plural nouns: There are + not + plural noun + …

Negative short forms are: there isn’t/aren’t (the same short forms of to be).

Some more common negative expressions are:

  • there are no there are not any;
  • there aren’t / there aren’t any.

Interrogative

Singular nouns: Is there + singular noun/uncountable noun + …?
Plural nouns: Are there + plural noun + …?

There is

  • There is a cat in the garden.
  • There is not a cat in the garden.
  • There isn’t a cat in the garden.
  • Is there a cat in the garden?

There are

  • There are ten cats in the garden.
  • There are not ten cats in the garden.
  • There aren’t ten cats in the garden.
  • Are there ten cats in the garden?
  • There are not any cats in the garden.

We use There is/are as an expression when we confirm, deny or check that something exists.

There is (for singular) and there are (for plural) are used when we want to confirm (affirmative), deny (negative) or check (interrogative) that something exists.

For example:
— Affirmative: “There is a white plate.” / “There are white plates.”
— Negative: “There isn’t a white plate.” / “There aren’t white plates.”
— Interrogative: “Is there a white plate? / “Are there white plates?

The more common negative forms are there is no and there are no.

For example:
— “There is no plate on the table.” / “There are no plates on the table.”

NOTE: Another common negative form is there are not any.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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