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 want to ask is English grammer is important to speak English??

Hello sara,

Yes, grammar is important for reading, writing, listening and speaking, as it is the way we use words to create and express meaning. That doesn't necessarily mean that you should study grammar in isolation. If you find working on grammar exercises useful, then it's a good idea to do them.

Many also find it useful to the resources under Listen & Watch such as the Elementary Podcasts to practise listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary simultaneously. There's some useful advice on how to do this on our Help page.

I hope this helps you.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

My concern is about regional English pronunciation and spellings; British and America. As the language teacher at primary level, I discovered that occasionally, this two Regional English varies, although we are trained in Queen English and my country adopted it as the standard but there is no prohibition regard the use of other regional spellings and pronunciation; so most of our children are exposed to contents full of 'strange' spellings and pronunciation that contradict the traditional usage. If you call them to spell or pronounce, they end up having different spelling and pronunciation unique to individual exposure to specific Regional English. My question is, as a teacher; how do we manage this situation in a classroom? And how do we maintain the standard of good English in our institutions?

Hello Daniel Odey,

English has many different dialects and no dialect is inherently better than any other. So-called 'Queen's English' (or, more accurately, 'Received Pronunciation') has a regional and social basis itself: the English of wealthy people in the general south of England.

The advice given to teachers is to teach the English you yourself speak. Trying to teach a dialect which is not familiar to you will only lead to problems. The important thing is that the learners speak accurately and consistently, but whether they speak with a northern (British) English accent or an Australian accent is not important.

Note also that regional differences are mainly in terms of sounds (pronunciation). There are some grammar features that are typical of certain regions and some vocabulary which is regional, but spelling is consistent within speech communities. In other words, there are some words that British English and American English spell differently, but they are consistent within those groups. There is no spelling difference between London and Manchester, or Boston and Dallas. Learners should be aware of these differences (which are not great and are quite consistent, with rules that can be taught) but be sure to have consistent spelling in their own English.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
Could I create a sentence as below?
"There" = There are many ways to solve it.

Thanks,

Regards,
neogoay

Hi neogoay,

Yes, that is grammatically correct.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I believe there's a great methodology to fix all these rules: Mind maps. For each topic i will try to make a Mind Map.

Hello there, first i wanna know where is the object in this phrase : i'm waiting for my wife .
second what is the position of "please" grammatically in play it again please .

Hello Girls,

This sounds like homework. If it is, it'd really be best for you to do it.

When 'wait' has an object, the preposition 'for' is used before it - in this case, 'my wife'. One could consider 'my wife' the object of the verb or the object of a preposition. You can find what part of speech any word is in our dictionary - see the Cambridge Dictionaries Online searchbox on the lower right.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hay there, I am not new here, but there were a couple of months I practiced and now I want to ask all that I am not sure refering to grammar. I hope I will not be to heavy for you.

So I have some questions, namely:

First, does expression "go away" mean "leave me alone" or what? If has the same maning, is it correct to se going away from me/go away from me

Second, in the sentence "There was plenty for us to read in the apartment" what do you mean "plenty", plenty of what (books, materials, novels... or everything)

Third, what would happen when we left out "IN" in this sentence. "It’s very cold in here."

And the last one, does these two sentences refers to the same: 1. There were a lot of people shouting and waving 2. There were a lot of people who shouted and waved.

Thanks in advance!

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