there and it

Standard

1 there + be

  • We use theres is/there are to say that something exists, often when we talk about it for the first time:

There’s an interesting skyscraper in New York.

There are several good restaurants near where we live.

  • We can use there + a form of be in most tenses and forms:

There used to be a pos office here.

  • We use there is, not there + are, with a list that starts with a singular noun:

There’s a pen, a ruler and some pencils on each desk.

2 there and it

  • There introduces new information; but we use it to say more about the information:

There’s a new cinema in town. It’s got six screens.

  • We don’t use it to say something exists:

It’s a sauna and a small gym in the hotel. There’s a sauna and a small gym in the hotel.

3 it as a subject

We use it as a subject in expressions for:

  • time: What time is it? It’s ten o’clock. How long did it take? It only took five minutes.
  • days and dates: What day is it? It’s 10th November.
  • distances: It’s only 25km to Valencia.
  • weather + verb: It’s snowing. It’s really hot here.
  • BUT + noun: There was a lot of rain on holiday.
  • identifying people: Hi, it’s Ginny here. It’s Malcolm at the door.
  • descriptions: It’s boring here. It was a difficult time in my life.

note: Although it has no real meaning in theses sentences, we can’t leave it out!!

4 it + be+ adjective/noun + infinitive with to

We can use this pattern to describe how we feel about a situation:

  • It’s nice to see you
  • It wasn’t possible to get tickets for Saturday.
  • It has been a pleasure to meet your family.
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