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 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!

Hello swxswx,

As you can see in the entries for 'go away' in our dictionary (see the searchbox on the lower right), it has two main meanings: to leave a place and to disappear. Saying 'go away' to someone can imply that you want them to leave you alone, but not necessarily. If you want to specify that, you can say 'go away and leave me alone' - in fact, that's one of the examples in the dictionary entry.

As for your second question. you've understood 'plenty' correctly - it can refer to anything that one can read.

There can be a slight difference between the two sentences in your third question. 'in here' implies an enclosed space, e.g. a room or house, but 'here' could also refer to an enclosed space - it's more general. So they could be the same or they could be different.

The last two sentences you ask about essentially mean the same thing, but portray the event a bit differently. The use of the past simple in the second one puts more emphasis on the event as something that is done and finished, whereas the first sentence would be used, for example, in a description of a situation that is part of a larger story.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Good Morning!
who Can help me about the use of this methodology?

Regards

Hello YD,

Our Help page has some advice on how to use LearnEnglish to improve your English. Please take a look and then let us know if you have any questions.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Good morning to all.i am really interested .It's very usful and help's me to improve my english language.

hello
can u speak me what is plan to learn english ? thanks

Hello naaramoh,

I'd recommend you read our Help page, where you can find practical advice on how to use LearnEnglish to improve your English.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello teacher,

I've got a question about the following sentences:

* It's almost impossible to surf on the internet and NOT TO find any site in English
* It's almost impossible surf on the internet and DON'T find any site in English

Could you please tell me which one is grammatically correct and explain me why?

Thanks!

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