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

Hello balaenglish,

You'll need to download this software from your phone manufacturer's site, or from an android site.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. I did not understand how to do the exercise task 2, that's why I got a bad marks.

hello...I don`t understand the dummy subject. Could you help me? please..

Hi valefer,

Could you please be more specific? Which part of the explanation do you not understand? The basic idea is that since every sentence must have a subject in English, sometimes the words 'there' and 'it' are used as subjects, even when there really is no subject.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi aghoda1,

Do you mean that you can see the tasks or can't see them? If you can see them then that is good - you should be able to see them! If you can't see them then that is a problem. It may be related to the device you are using - if you are using a mobile device, for example, such as a tablet or phone, then the Flash-based activities (such as the exercises) may not function. Try accessing the site with a different device (e.g. a desktop or laptop computer) to see if this solves your problem.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi!
I'm very happy for find out this website. I studied english several years ago and I still not feel prepared for speak or write in english. I hope move forward in english on this year.
Happy 2015 for you!

Dear Sir,

Now I got a clarification on using of It and There.

Is the above sentence is correct

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