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Structure: ‘there is / there are’

We use this structure to indicate that something (or somebody) exists (or does not exist) in a specific place at some time. There is / there are introduces the thing or things / person or people that you want to talk about.

Look at the following examples.

There are some passengers at the gate. (present)
There is a problem with the APU. (present)

We can also use this structure in other tenses, all we need to do is use the verb be in other tenses.

Look at the following examples.

There was a restaurant in terminal 1. (past simple)
There were two bags left on board the plane. (past simple)

Similarly we can use there have been / there has been / there will be etc.

Look at some more examples.

There will be a new livery for the fleet next year. (future)
There have been many delays this year. (present perfect)

Now try to write some examples of your own.

Tip: Be careful that your choice of there is / are etc… agrees with the thing / things / person / people you are taking about.

eg There is a plane on the stand. (’There is‘ agrees with ‘a plane’)

eg There are two planes on the stand. (’There are‘ agrees with ‘two planes’)

Here are all of the present and past structures for reference;
There is … (present singular positive)
There are … (present plural negative)
There isn’t … (present singular negative)
There aren’t … (present plural negative)
Is there …? (present singular question)
Are there …? (present plural question)

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