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

HELLO SIR,
Sir your exercise does not show to me that is at the end of lesson. kindly help me.

Hello Muhammad Soban,

I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean. Is the problem that you don't see the exercise? If so, I'd recommend trying a different browser or updating your browser, as our exercises should work on any recent browser. But if you still can't see it, please let us know what browser version you're using.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
I'am a new comer here, i want to improve my poor English,hope everyone can help me. Thanks in advance for you.
I'am confused about why use the word 'IT' as dummy subjects instead of 'THERE' in the follwing sentense?
Don’t forget, _____’s your mum’s birthday tomorrow.

Hello June,

In general, 'there' is used to talk about the existence of something. In this case, 'it' is used to identify, i.e. the birthday is tomorrow. This rule is not always true, but 'it' is usually used for this (and not 'there').

Does that make sense to you?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team 

Regarding 'it' and 'there', you state that English always has a subject, except for the imperative:

Go away.
Play it again please.

But isn't 'it' a 'dummy subject'?

Hello dmclella,

Yes, these are termed 'dummy subjects'. Gramatically, they are still subjects.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, the task #2 after Grammar 'it' and 'there' suggests to complete gaps:

"Can you remember the sentences from the last activity? Type in the correct words." How can I find this "last activity"?

Hello Mermaid Marina,

The 'last activity' means Task 1, which is located just above Task 2. You'll see that it uses the same sentences as you find in Task 2. If you can't see it, please let us know.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

It was very easy this section in english grammar very basic. I got 10 out of 10 . Thanks a lot brithisccounsil for the resources. Bye

hi, can you tell me which one is correct
There are a lot of people here
There is a lot of people here.
There are lots of people here.

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