Usage of ‘There is’ and ‘There are’ in English

They are used with a/an, some/any and are used with both singular and plural nouns.

Singular Nouns

Positive: There is a boy.

Negative: There isn’t a boy.

Question: Is there a boy?

Plural Nouns

Positive: There are five boys.

Negative: There aren’t five boys.

Question: Are there five boys?

Short Answers:

Positive: Yes, there is. / No, there isn’t.

Negative: Yes, there are. / No, there aren’t.

Use the phrase “There is a…” for positive singular statements.

There is a book in my bag.

There is a car in this street.

Use the phrase “There are some…” for positive plural statements.

There are some trees on this side of the road.

There are some students in that class.

Use “Is there a…?” to ask about singular items.

Is there a paper on the desk?

Is there a computer in your house?

Use “Are there any…?” to ask about plural items.

Are there any students in the classroom?

Are there any books with you?

Use “There isn’t a…” for negative singular statements.

There isn’t a book in my bag.

There isn’t a car in the street.

Use “There aren’t any…” for negative plural statements.

There aren’t any apartments in this city.

There aren’t any trees in that school.

Note: “There is” and “it is” are different.

There is a ball on the ground. It is a ball on the ground.

Additional Examples:

There was an old TV in the room.

There wasn’t a remote control in the computer room.

Was there a CD on the table?

There were only three customers in the shop.

There weren’t many people.

Were there any lights in the room?

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