There is – There are
In English grammar we use “there is” or “there are” to talk about things we can see and things that exist. We use “there is” for singular and uncountable nouns, and we use “there are” for plural countable nouns.
We use there is for singular and there are for plural.
- There is one table in the classroom.
- There are three chairs in the classroom.
- There is a spider in the bath.
- There are many people at the bus stop.
We also use There is with uncountable nouns:
- There is milk in the fridge.
- There is enough evidence to convict him.
- There is some sugar on the table.
- There is ice cream on your shirt.
The contraction of there is is there’s.
- There’s a good song on the radio.
- There’s only one chocolate left in the box.
You cannot contract there are.
- There are nine cats on the roof.
- There are only five weeks until my birthday.
The negative is formed by putting not after is or are:
- There is not a horse in the field.
- There are not eight children in the school.
- There is not a tree in the garden.
- There are not two elephants in the zoo.
We almost always use contractions when speaking.
The Negative contractions are:
- There’s not = There isn’t
- There are not = There aren’t
There aren’t with ANY
When we want to indicate that a zero quantity of something exists we use there aren’t any.
- There aren’t any people at the party.
- There aren’t any trees in my street.
We also use this structure with uncountable nouns:
- There isn’t any water in the swimming pool.
- There isn’t any food in the fridge.
- There isn’t any sugar in my coffee.
- There isn’t any money left.
To form a question we place is / are in front of there.
Again we use any with plural questions or those which use uncountable nouns.
We also use there is / are in short answers.
- Is there a dog in the supermarket? – No, there isn’t.
- Are there any dogs in the park? – Yes, there are.
- Is there a security guard in the shop? – Yes, there is.
- Are there any polar bears in Antarctica? – No, there aren’t.
- Is there any ice-cream in the freezer? – Yes, there is.
How Many with Are There
If we want to find out the number of objects that exist we use How many in the following form:
How many + plural noun + are there (+ complement).
- How many cars are there in the car-park?
- How many students are there in your class?
- How many countries are there in South America?
- How many Fast and Furious films are there?