it and there

 

English clauses always have a subject:

His father has just retired. Was a teacher. > He was a teacher.
I’m waiting for my wife. Is late. > She is late.
Look at the time! Is half past two.> It’s half past two.

except for the imperative (see more)

Go away.
Play it again please.

If we have no other subject we use there or it.

there

We use there as a dummy subject with part of the verb be followed by a noun phrase. (see Clauses, sentences and phrases):

• to introduce a new topic:

There is a meeting this evening. It will start at seven.
There has been an accident. I hope no one is hurt.

• with numbers or quantities:

There was a lot of rain last night.
There must have been more than five hundred in the audience.

• to say where something is:

There used to be a playground at the end of the street.
There are fairies at the bottom of the garden.
I wonder if there will be anyone at home.

• with an indefinite pronoun or expressions of quantity and the to-infinitive:

There is nothing to do in the village.
There was plenty to read in the apartment
There was nothing to watch on television.
There is a lot of work to do

If we want to show the subject of the to-infinitive we use for:

There is nothing for the children to do in the village.
There was plenty for us to read in the apartment
There was nothing for them to watch on television.
There is a lot of work for you to do.

• with an indefinite pronoun or expressions of quantity and an -ing verb:

There is someone waiting to see you.
There were a lot of people shouting and waving.

We use a singular verb if the noun phrase is singular:

There is a meeting this evening. It will start at seven.
There was a lot of rain last night.
There is someone waiting to see you.

We use a plural verb if the noun phrase is plural:

There are more than twenty people waiting to see you.
There were some biscuits in the cupboard.
There were a lot of people shouting and waving.
 

It

We use it to talk about:

• times and dates:

It’s nearly one o’clock.
It’s my birthday.

• weather:

It’s raining.
It’s a lovely day.
It was getting cold.

• to give an opinion about a place:

It’s very cold in here.
It will be nice when we get home.
It’s very comfortable in my new apartment.

• to give an opinion followed by to-infinitive:

It’s nice to meet you.
It will be great to go on holiday.
It was interesting to meet your brother at last.

• to give an opinion followed by an -ing verb:

It’s great living in Spain.
It’s awful driving in this heavy traffic.
It can be hard work looking after young children.

  

Using "it" to talk about people

We use it to talk about ourselves:

• on the telephone:

Hello. It’s George.

• when people cannot see us:

[Mary knocks on door] It’s me. It’s Mary.

We use it to talk about other people:

• when we point them out for the first time:

Look. It’s Sir Paul McCartney.
Who’s that? I think it’s John’s brother.

• when we cannot see them and we ask them for their name:

[telephone rings, we pick it up] Hello. Who is it?
[someone knocks on door. We say:] Who is it

 

Task 1

 Exercise

Task 2

 Exercise

Comments

I am confused in the use of "myself" and "ourselves". Where to use the appropriate form. Please clarify.

Hello surendrasharma70,

We use 'myself' to refer to only one person - the speaker.  We use 'ourselves' to refer to more than one person - the speaker and one or more others.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

In the 2nd part of 1st example of 'there'...instead of saying ...it will start at 7o'clock, if i say, it starts at 7 o'clock.
Is the 2nd sentence wrong?

Hello aarushmom,

No, the present simple is perfectly fine here and you can say say 'starts'.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

good lesson. really helpful but there should be more exercise for practice.
Please could you give me some advice how can we use them accurately in speaking because when I speak, I can't use them accurately.
plz help me......

Hello nosheenmajeed,

When learning anything there is usually a gap between the time when we understand it and the time when we master it.  It's normal for it to take some time for us to be able to use something that we have learnt fluently and accurately in speech, so don't be disheartened if you find it difficult to use words or structures immediately.  A very good way to help bridge this step is to practise using the words or structures yourself at home.  With structures such as 'there is a...' and 'it is...' you can practise describing what you can see ('there is (a) + noun') and commenting on it (it's + adjective...).  Try speaking English to yourself while you are at home, making different sentences using the structures, and you will find it easier to use it outside when communicating with other people.

The other advice I would give you is to not worry too much about making mistakes in English when you speak.  It's normal for our spoken language to be less accurate than our written language, even when we are speaking our native language. When we are speaking we often change our minds in mid-sentence, or choose to phrase something differently, or do not finish a particular sentence.  It is perfectly normal for our speech to be chaotic and less accurate, so while it's good to try to be accurate, don't worry too much about mistakes and practise speaking as often as you can and you will improve.

I hope that advice is helpful.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sorry, but there's a mistake in Task 2, No. 9.
We need 4 words to complete this task.

--
Please correct me, if my English isn't correct.
Thank you very much.

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