Printable There Is There Are Exercises - 101 PDF Worksheets with Answers

There Is vs There Are Printable PDF Worksheet Tests with Exercises and Answers

Access a collection of 101 printable PDF worksheets focusing on the English grammar topic of the there is there are. Download fill-in-the-blank tests with exercises and answer keys for there is vs there are to print for free. The activities in the sheets are suitable for kids, adults, ESL learners at the beginner, elementary, and intermediate levels to practice English grammar.

1. Introduction to "There Is" vs. "There Are"

In the English grammar, clarity and precision are essential for effective communication. One area where this clarity is crucial is in the use of existential sentences, which help us describe the existence of people, objects, or things. Two fundamental phrases that play a pivotal role in constructing these sentences are "there is" and "there are." Understanding when and how to use these phrases is not only essential for learners of English but also for anyone looking to express themselves accurately and clearly. In this comprehensive essay, we will delve into the nuances of "there is" vs. "there are" and explore their relevance in learning English grammar.

2. Understanding Existential Sentences

Before we dive into the specifics of "there is" and "there are," it's important to grasp the concept of existential sentences. These sentences are used to state the existence of something or someone. They are particularly handy when we want to describe the presence of objects, people, or even abstract concepts. Existential sentences help us answer questions like, "Is there a cat in the room?" or "Are there any apples left in the basket?"
Defining "There Is" and "There Are"

At its core, the difference between "there is" and "there are" boils down to the number of items being referred to. Let's define each phrase:

There Is: This phrase is used to indicate the existence of a singular item or the presence of something singular. It's employed when you're talking about one thing. For example, "There is a book on the shelf" or "There is a problem we need to solve."

There Are: On the other hand, "there are" is employed to convey the existence of multiple items or the presence of multiple things. It is used when you're discussing more than one thing. For instance, "There are three cats in the garden" or "There are many opportunities in this field."

Understanding this fundamental distinction between singular ("there is") and plural ("there are") existence is key to using these phrases correctly.

3. The Basics of Grammar and Existence

To use "there is" and "there are" effectively, it's crucial to grasp the basics of grammar surrounding these phrases.
"There Is" for Singular Existence

When you want to assert the existence of a singular item or a singular condition, "there is" is your go-to phrase. It's important to remember that "there is" is not concerned with the nature of the item; it simply declares its presence. For example:

There is a new student in the class.
There is some confusion about the meeting time.

In both cases, "there is" introduces the existence of a single item or a singular state of affairs.
"There Are" for Plural Existence

Conversely, when you want to state the existence of multiple items or multiple conditions, "there are" is the appropriate choice. This phrase indicates the presence of more than one thing. Consider these examples:

There are several books on the shelf.
There are many reasons to visit that city.

In these instances, "there are" is used to convey the existence of multiple items or conditions.

4. Subject-Verb Agreement in Existential Sentences

One of the crucial aspects of using "there is" and "there are" is ensuring that the verb agrees with the subject. This concept, known as subject-verb agreement, dictates that the verb should match the number of the subject. In the case of "there is" and "there are," this means that the verb form changes based on whether the existence is singular or plural.

5. Sentence Structure with "There Is" and "There Are"

Constructing sentences using "there is" and "there are" follows a specific pattern:

Affirmative Statements: In affirmative sentences, "there is" or "there are" is followed by the subject, which is followed by the rest of the sentence. For example:
There is a cat in the room.
There are some interesting books on the shelf.

Negative Statements: In negative sentences, we introduce the word "not" after "is" or "are" to indicate the absence of something. For example:
There is not a single cloud in the sky. (Negative form: "is not")
There are not any apples left. (Negative form: "are not" or "aren't," in informal speech)

Questions: When forming questions with "there is" and "there are," we invert the order. The subject comes before "is" or "are." For example:
Is there a problem we need to solve?
Are there any questions about the assignment?

Understanding these sentence structures is crucial for using "there is" and "there are" accurately.

6. "There Is" vs. "There Are" in Affirmative Statements

In affirmative statements, "there is" and "there are" serve to declare the existence of something. Let's explore their usage in this context.

Singular Existence with "There Is":
There is a tree in the backyard.
There is a rainbow after the rain.

Plural Existence with "There Are":
There are several cars in the parking lot.
There are many opportunities in this field.

In these affirmative statements, "there is" introduces singular existence, while "there are" signifies plural existence.

7. "There Is" vs. "There Are" in Negative Statements

Negative statements with "there is" and "there are" are used to convey the absence of something. The word "not" is introduced to indicate the negative form.

Singular Absence with "There Is Not" or "There Isn't":
There is not a single cloud in the sky.
There isn't much time left.

Plural Absence with "There Are Not" or "There Aren't":
There are not any apples left in the basket.
There aren't many people at the park today.

These negative forms of "there is" and "there are" help express the non-existence or scarcity of something.

8. "There Is" vs. "There Are" in Questions

When forming questions with "there is" and "there are," the word order is inverted compared to affirmative statements. The subject comes before "is" or "are."

Singular Existence Questions with "Is There":
Is there a problem we need to solve?
Is there a doctor in the house?

Plural Existence Questions with "Are There":
Are there any questions about the assignment?
Are there many students in the classroom?

By using these question forms, we can seek information or clarification about the existence of something.

9. Asking Questions with "There Is" and "There Are"

Questions involving "there is" and "there are" are particularly useful when seeking information about what exists or is present in a certain situation. Here are some common question patterns:

Existence Questions: These questions ask if something exists or is present.
Is there a park nearby?
Are there any good restaurants in this neighborhood?

Location Questions: These questions inquire about the whereabouts of something or someone.
Is there a restroom in this building?
Are there any libraries on campus?

Quantity Questions: These questions aim to determine the number or amount of something.
Is there enough time to finish the task?
Are there many students in the lecture hall today?

Mastering these question patterns can help learners of English engage in effective communication.

10. Responding to Questions with "There Is" and "There Are"

When responding to questions that involve "there is" and "there are," it's important to provide clear and concise answers. Here's how you can respond to such questions:

Affirmative Responses:
Is there a park nearby? - Yes, there is a beautiful park just a block away.
Are there any good restaurants in this neighborhood? - Yes, there are several great restaurants here.

Negative Responses:
Is there a restroom in this building? - No, there isn't a restroom on this floor.
Are there any libraries on campus? - No, there aren't any libraries here.

Responding accurately and confidently to questions enhances effective communication.

11. Contractions with "There Is" and "There Are"

In informal speech and writing, contractions are commonly used to streamline language and make it more conversational. The contractions for "there is" and "there are" are "there's" and "there're," respectively. Here's how they are used:

Contractions with "There's" (Informal):
There's a new cafe opening downtown.
There's an interesting event happening next week.

Contractions with "There're" (Informal):
There're many options to choose from.
There're some books you might find interesting.

These contractions are frequently encountered in spoken English and informal writing. However, in formal writing, it's advisable to use the full forms "there is" and "there are" for greater clarity.

12. "There Is" vs. "There Are" in Informal Speech

In casual and informal speech, native speakers often use contractions like "there's" and "there're" to simplify their expressions. While these contractions are acceptable in everyday conversation, it's important to be aware of their usage and the contexts in which they are appropriate.

"There's" in Informal Speech
There's a party at Tom's place tonight. (Informal)
There's a problem with the computer. (Informal)
There's no milk left in the fridge. (Informal)

In informal speech, "there's" is commonly used to refer to singular existence or to introduce a topic of discussion.

"There're" in Informal Speech
There're some interesting movies playing at the theater. (Informal)
There're a few friends coming over for dinner. (Informal)
There're a lot of things to do before the trip. (Informal)

Similarly, "there're" is employed in informal speech to convey plural existence or to discuss multiple items or situations.

While these contractions are acceptable in everyday conversation, it's important to be mindful of the context and audience when using them in more formal settings.

13. "There Is" vs. "There Are" in Formal Writing

In contrast to informal speech, formal writing typically avoids contractions like "there's" and "there're." Instead, it employs the full forms "there is" and "there are" to maintain a more professional and polished tone. Here are examples of their usage in formal writing:

There is a significant correlation between these two variables. (Formal)
There are several key factors to consider in this analysis. (Formal)
There is not enough evidence to support this claim. (Formal)

In academic essays, reports, business communication, and other formal written contexts, it is advisable to opt for the full forms of "there is" and "there are."

14. "There Is" vs. "There Are" in Academic Writing

In academic writing, precision and clarity are paramount. When crafting scholarly papers, research articles, or essays, writers should adhere to the conventions of formal writing. This includes using "there is" and "there are" in their full forms to ensure clarity and professionalism. Here's how these phrases are used in academic writing:

There is a well-established theory that addresses this issue. (Academic)
There are numerous studies that have explored this phenomenon. (Academic)
There is not enough data to draw a definitive conclusion. (Academic)

Academic writing demands adherence to a specific style and tone, and using the full forms of "there is" and "there are" contributes to this requirement.

15. Cultural Variations in "There Is" vs. "There Are" Usage

English is a global language with numerous variations in its usage, vocabulary, and pronunciation. This diversity extends to the usage of phrases like "there is" and "there are." While the fundamental rules remain consistent, there are subtle cultural variations in how these phrases are employed.
American English vs. British English

One notable variation is between American English and British English. In American English, it is common to use "there's" even when referring to plural existence. For example:

There's two options for dinner. (American English, informal)

In British English, there is a preference for maintaining strict subject-verb agreement, which means using "there are" for plural existence:

There are two options for dinner. (British English, informal)

However, in both American and British English, formal writing typically employs the full forms "there is" and "there are."

Understanding these cultural variations can be especially useful for learners of English, as it helps them adapt to the specific conventions of the English variant they are exposed to.

16. Teaching "There Is" vs. "There Are" to Learners

Teaching "there is" and "there are" to English learners requires a systematic approach that covers both the basic rules and the nuances of usage. Here are some effective teaching strategies:

Start with Singular vs. Plural
Begin by explaining the fundamental difference between "there is" (singular existence) and "there are" (plural existence). Use clear examples to illustrate this concept, as it forms the foundation for correct usage.

Emphasize Subject-Verb Agreement
Highlight the importance of subject-verb agreement in existential sentences. Clarify that the choice between "there is" and "there are" depends on the number of items or conditions being discussed.

Practice with Common Scenarios
Engage learners in practical exercises that mimic real-life scenarios. Encourage them to create sentences about their surroundings, possessions, or experiences using "there is" and "there are."

Provide Cultural Context
If learners are studying English for specific purposes, such as for travel or business, offer insights into the cultural conventions of English-speaking regions that are relevant to their goals.

Correct Mistakes Actively
Identify common mistakes and errors made by learners and correct them promptly. This active feedback helps reinforce correct usage.

Encourage Creative Writing
Encourage learners to express themselves creatively using "there is" and "there are." This can involve storytelling, describing fictional places, or discussing imaginative scenarios.

By combining these teaching strategies, educators can help learners acquire a solid grasp of "there is" and "there are."

17. Common Mistakes to Avoid

In the process of learning "there is" and "there are," learners often encounter common mistakes and pitfalls. Being aware of these errors can help learners avoid them. Here are some typical mistakes to watch out for:

Lack of Subject-Verb Agreement
One of the most common mistakes is failing to match the verb form ("is" or "are") with the subject. For example, saying "There is three apples" instead of "There are three apples" is a subject-verb agreement error.

Overusing Contractions
While contractions like "there's" and "there're" are acceptable in informal speech and writing, overusing them in formal contexts can lead to a lack of professionalism.

Misusing "There" as a Pronoun
Sometimes, learners may mistakenly use "there" as a pronoun to refer to a specific noun. For instance, saying "I saw a cat, and there was playing in the garden" instead of "I saw a cat, and it was playing in the garden" is incorrect.

Neglecting Negative Forms
Learners might forget to include "not" in negative statements, resulting in sentences like "There is any milk left" instead of "There isn't any milk left."

Omitting "There" in Questions
In questions, learners might omit "there" altogether, as in "Is a problem we need to solve?" rather than "Is there a problem we need to solve?"

Misusing "There" for "Their" or "They're"
Confusion between homophones like "there," "their," and "they're" can lead to errors. For example, mistakenly writing "Their is a park nearby" instead of "There is a park nearby" is a common mistake.

Confusing "There" with "Here"
Learners might also confuse "there" with "here" in sentences like "Here are three apples," when "there" is the correct word to indicate existence.

Incorrect Verb Tense
Using the incorrect verb tense in existential sentences can lead to errors, such as saying "There was many people at the event" instead of "There were many people at the event."

Being mindful of these common mistakes is essential for learners striving for accuracy in their use of "there is" and "there are."

18. Advanced Usage and Nuances of "There Is" vs. "There Are"

As learners progress in their English language proficiency, they encounter more advanced usage scenarios and nuances associated with "there is" and "there are."

Existential Emphasis
In some cases, existential sentences are used to emphasize the existence of something in a specific location or context. This emphasis can be achieved by placing "there" at the beginning of the sentence. For example:

There is where you'll find the best pizza in town.
There are the files you were looking for.

In these sentences, "there is" and "there are" serve to emphasize the location or presence of the mentioned items.
Indicating New Information

Existential sentences are also used to introduce new information or highlight something noteworthy. Consider these examples:
There is breaking news about the election results.
There are some incredible insights in this research paper.

In these cases, "there is" and "there are" draw attention to the novelty or significance of the information being presented.

Conditional Existence
Existential sentences can also be employed conditionally to discuss the potential existence of something. This usage often involves the word "if." For instance:

If there is a problem, please let me know.
If there are any questions, feel free to ask.

Here, "there is" and "there are" are used conditionally to address the possibility of certain situations arising.
Existence Over Time

Existential sentences can convey not only the existence of something at a specific moment but also its presence over time. For example:
There has been a café on this corner for decades.
There have been ongoing discussions about this issue.

In these cases, "has been" and "have been" emphasize the continuous existence or presence of something.

Descriptive Existence
Existential sentences can serve a descriptive function by providing details about the existence of something. For example:
There is a beautiful painting hanging on the wall.
There are several options for transportation.

In these sentences, "there is" and "there are" contribute to the overall description of the scene or context.

Mastering these advanced usage scenarios enhances learners' ability to use "there is" and "there are" effectively in various communicative contexts.

19. Mastering "There Is" vs. "There Are" for Effective Communication

In conclusion, the correct usage of "there is" and "there are" is essential for clear and precise communication in English. Whether you are a beginner learning the basics or an advanced learner navigating nuanced usage, these phrases play a vital role in describing existence, location, and quantity.

To master "there is" and "there are," it is important to:

Understand the distinction between singular and plural existence.
Ensure subject-verb agreement in sentences.
Familiarize yourself with common sentence structures.
Practice forming affirmative, negative, and question sentences.
Be aware of contractions in informal speech.
Adapt to cultural and regional variations.
Avoid common mistakes and errors.
Explore advanced usage scenarios.

By developing a comprehensive understanding of "there is" and "there are," learners can express themselves accurately, engage in effective communication, and navigate the complexities of the English language with confidence.