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

Dear sir,
could you explain the 'Indefinite pronoun' please.

Hello anuruddha1107,

You can see an explanation on our indefinite pronouns page. After reading it, if you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask us there.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk and Peter
Thank you very much for your explanation.

Hello Peter,
I confused what is differences between " there's some lasagne " that was shown
correct and " there is some lasagne " that was shown wrong?

Hello Ahmadi1952,

'there's' is another form of 'there is'. The verb 'is' is often contracted to 's in speaking and informal writing. So 'there is some lasagne' and 'there's some lasagne' both mean exactly the same thing. Task 2 accepts both of those answers for the third sentence since they both mean the same thing. I've just tried it myself and the exercise showed both as correct. I'm not sure how to explain how it shows 'there is some lasagne' as wrong for you, but please know it is also correct.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk
I mean why 'there is some lasagne' isn't correct.

Best wishes

Hello Ahmadi 1952,

As Kirk says, 'there is some lasagne' is correct. If the task is showing it as wrong then please check your spelling and capitalisation as perhaps there is a problem with these. Please also check that you have not included extra spaces in your answer.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
I have a question on task 2 number 3 why " there is " is wrong?

Hello Ahmadi1952,

I just did the exercise and answered number 3 with 'there is some lasagne', which was shown as correct. 'there is' is incomplete, because there needs to be a noun phrase after it - 'in the fridge' is a prepositional phrase. Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question on Task 2 number 3. Why the right answer is ''There is some lasagne in the fridge '' and not the ''There are some lasagne in the fridge''.

Best wishes. Thank you.

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