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Common English Grammar Mistakes | How to use there is - there are correctly



How to use: there is / there are correctly

It is a lovely park near my house. [incorrect]
There is a lovely park near my house. [correct]

There have very good restaurants and shops on board the ship. (incorrect)
There are very good restaurants and shops on board the ship. (correct)

We use there to say that something exists. We use there is with a singular subject and there are with a plural subject:
There is an oak tree in my garden. (not It is an oak tree or There have an oak tree)
There are some great movies on at the cinema. (not They are some greta movies)

We use there is and there are to give new information. We use it is or they are to talk about something that has already been referred to.

Compare:

There is a present for you on the table. (the first time the present has been mentioned)
Mary: What is that you're carrying?
John: It's a present for my sister. (it = what John is carrying)

We do not use the auxiliary verb 'do' to form questions and negatives with there is and there are:Are there any clean glasses in the cupboard? There isn't a map in the car.

There cannot be left out: There is a pan of soup and there are some bowls in the kitchen. (not There is a pan of soup and are some bowls in the kitchen.)

See more common grammar mistakes

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