Intermediate Grammar – There is, There are


(that’s “Hi” in Dutch).

Welcome to another Intermediate class. If you are not sure of your English level, take our test!

We will be reviewing “there is” and “there are”, the grammar lesson from Unit 38 “A chat at the greengrocer’s”. Do you know what that word means?

Greengrocer – a person who works in or owns a store that sells fresh vegetables and fruit.

As you know, you can find all of this information, plus speaking exercises, writing exercises, vocabulary exercises and more on the ABA English Course Unit 38.

There is, There are – Affirmative

To say that something exists somewhere, we usually use “there is” with singular nouns.

For example:

There is a cat on the sofa”

By contracting “there” and “is”, you will sound more casual. This is how people speak during a conversation.

And we use “there are” with plural nouns.

For example:

There are some cats in the kitchen”

There is, There are  – Negative

To say that something does not exist somewhere, we usually use “there is not” with singular nouns and “there are not” with plural nouns.

For example: 

There is not any milk in the fridge”

There are not any biscuits in the cupboard”

Remember that to sound more natural, we will use the contracted forms:

There isn’t any milk in the fridge”

There aren’t any biscuits in the cupboard”

If you notice, you will see that in the negative sentences, we use the word “any”.

There is another way we can use “there is” and “there are” in the negative. Instead of saying “there isn’t any” or “there aren’t any”, we can say “there is no” and “there are no”.

There is no, There are no

With this way of using “there is” and “there are” we don’t use any contractions.

For example:

There is no music at the party”

There are no open restaurants today”

There is, There are – Interrogative

Let’s see how we make questions!

This is very easy: in questions, the verb goes first. We simply switch the two words around. “There is” becomes “is there?” and “there are” becomes “are there?”. See?

We can also use “any” when we want to express quantity.

For example:

Is there any cheese in this sandwich?”

Are there any shops that sell shoes?”

Is there a cinema that shows scary movies?”

There is, There are – Short answers

When we are speaking in English, we do not just say “yes” or “no”. This is how we answer in the affirmative and the negative with “there is” and “there are”.

For example:

“Is there any cheese in this sandwich?” “Yes, there is

“Is there a cinema that shows scary movies?” “No, there isn’t

“Are there any shops that sell shoes?” “Yes, there are

“Are there any bars with live music? “No, there aren’t

There is, There are – Question tags

We can use question tags to ask for confirmation at the end of a sentence.

For example:

“There is a great show on tonight, isn’t there?”

“There isn’t any coffee left, is there?”

“There are so many pretty dresses, aren’t there?”

“There aren’t any cheap books, are there?”


Good job! You have learned all about using “there is” and “there are”.

In Unit 28 “A chat at the greengrocer’s”, you will meet Cathy and Helen. They are talking about why it’s so important to eat apples. By watching the ABA Film, you will practice your listening comprehension. Record your voice and compare phrases to improve your speaking and learn how to write correctly. You will also gain fluency by interpreting roles and then you will learn the grammar and new vocabulary.

See you soon!

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