There is and There are

We use there is and there are to express that something exists.

Positive Sentences

We use there is for singular and there are for plural nouns.

  • There is one student  in the classroom.
  • There are four mobile phones on the table.
  • There is a beggar on the street.
  • There are many guests in the party.

We also use There is with uncountable nouns:

  • There is milk in the glass.
  • There is some salt  in the jar.
  • There is water in the tank.


The contraction of there is is there's.

  • There's a laptop on the desk.
  • There's only one guest in the party.

You cannot contract there are.

  • There are eleven goats the farm.
  • There are five boys in the room.

Negative Sentences

The negative is formed by putting not after is or are:

  • There is not a machine in workshop.
  • There are not seven children on the street.
  • There is not a tree in the park.
  • There are not two lions in the zoo.

We usually use contractions when speaking.

  • There's not = There isn't
  • There are not = There aren't

There aren't with Any

When we want to indicate a zero quantity of something exists we use there aren't any.

  • There aren't any guests at the party.
  • There aren't any trees in the park.

We also use this structure with uncountable nouns:

  • There isn't any water in the tank.
  • There isn't any sugar in the jar.


To make a question is / are is followed by 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 refrigerator in the supermarket? - No, there isn't.
  • Are there any trees in the park? - Yes, there are.
  • Is there a security guard in the bank? - Yes, there is.
  • Are there any empty rooms in the house? - 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 trees are there in the park?
  • How many guests are there in the party?
  • How many countries are there in Asia?
  • How many teams are there in the tournament?

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