Level: beginner

English clauses always have a subject:

His father has just retired. > He was a teacher. (NOT Was a teacher.)
I'm waiting for my wife.She is late. (NOT Is late.)

... except for the imperative:

Go away.
Play it again, please.


If there is no other subject, we use there to talk about:

  • where or when something is:

There's an interesting book on the shelf.
There'll be an eclipse of the moon tonight.

  • a number or amount:

There is plenty of bread left.
There were twenty people at the meeting.

  • something existing or happening:

There's a small problem.
There was a nasty fight.


We use it to talk about:

  • times and dates:              

It's nearly one o'clock.
It's my birthday.

  • the weather:

It's raining.
It's a lovely day.
It was getting cold.

We use it with the verb be and an –ing form or to-infinitive to express opinions:

It's great living here.
It's nice to meet you.

Subjects of sentences


it and there as dummy subjects 1


it and there as dummy subjects 2



Hi Van Hua,

'your mum's birthday' is like a date, which is why 'is' is correct here. It might help to think that in sentences with dummy subjects, 'it' usually identifies something and 'there' says that something exists.

Hope that helps!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirl,

Thank you

Best Regards

There are four employee for SEO in the Company.
There are Niteesh to assist you regarding Web Services.
is it ok?

Hello Niteesh,


The best way to say this depends on who is speaking.

If someone else (not Niteesh) is saying it:

There are four employee dealing with SEO in the Company. Niteesh will assist you with Web Services.


If Niteesh is speaking:

There are four employee dealing with SEO in the Company. My name is Niteesh and I will assist you with Web Services.



The LearnEnglish Team

Which is correct,
If you’re hungry, there is some lasagne in the fridge.
If you’re hungry, there are some lasagne in the fridge.

Hello appu,

Why don't you tell us what you think the answer is and why this is the case, and we'll be happy to tell you if you are right or not. Trying to work it out for yourself is a much more effective way to learn.



The LearnEnglish Team

What about the following,which one is correct or better?Can anyone clarify these for me please ?
"It is no use......"
"There is no use......"
"there is no denial......"
"it is no denial...."

Hello Queenie-Chan,

Both of the first two phrases are commonly used. For example, 'The car won't start. It's no use (to try anymore) or 'There's no use in wasting our time trying to start the car'.

I'm afraid the other two phrases are not correct. 'there's no denying' is a common phrase -- you can see a definition and example sentence in the Cambridge Dictionary entry for 'deny'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I hope you all are fine,
Suppose there is a TV in a room, someone (blind possibly so not able to see
the TV) asks: "are there any TVs in this room?"
NOW my question is:
what is the correct answer? "Yes, there are. There's a TV ..." or since
there's only one TV; "Yes, there is. There's a TV..."
If will be really thankful if you answer the question.

Hello Veteran,

The most precise answer in the second one, but the first one is not wrong, especially since you correct yourself as you speak (changing from plural to singular when specifying the number).

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team