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

Section: 

Comments

Hi All,

Thank you for your help. Your lessons are so useful! :)

Hi Sir,

Can you please explain why we don't have question mark for "where" section? As it seems they are asking question.

Thank you in advance for your help

Hello Bilal Mustafa,

We'd be happy to help you, but could you please tell me which section you mean? I don't see a 'where' section on the page or in the exercises. Have I missed it?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sir,

Thank you for your reply. I am talking about this section

" 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."

Regards,
Bilal

Hello Bilal.Mustafa,

Thanks for clarifying that. None of the three sentences there are questions, which is why they don't have a question mark at the end. The first two are statements and the last one ('I wonder'), although similar to a question, doesn't have a question mark as normally none is used in such a sentence.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, Sir. could you please explain what is the difference between 'It’s very cold in here' and 'it's very cold here' and also 'is there anybody in here? and 'is there anybody here? and when do I use 'in here' and 'here'?

Hello mohamedfathy,

In general, 'here' is more general than 'in here', since 'in' implies some kind of closed space. For example, if you mean 'in Antarctica', which is a rather large space, then 'It's very cold here' would be better, whereas if you're talking about 'in the kitchen', which is a closed space, then 'It's very cold in here' (maybe it's winter and the window is broken, so it is cold) would probably be more likely.

But sometimes we could say 'in here', we just say 'here', as it's simpler. But if you really want to emphasise a space that is closed in some way, 'in here' is what you should use.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, Kirk

Dear Sir,
Hope you are doing great!

I would like to ask you a doubt to clarify about the question 7 on the task 2, which is:

7. The last time we had a holiday, it rained all the time. (2 words)

My answer was "It rained" and in accordance to the task 1, it's fine. But the feedback of task 2 is showing me it's wrong. So I would like to know why it's wrong.

Thank you very much!

Best Regarsd,

Sabrina Fornazier

Hello Sabrina,

The correct answer is 'it rained'. I'm not sure, but I expect the reason your answer was not accepted is that you capitalised the first letter. There is a comma before it, not a full stop, so a capital letter would be incorrect.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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