“There” / “It”

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Welcome to your There / It Lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• Using “There” and “It”
Other uses of “There”
Other uses of “It”
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

Using “There” and “It”

“There …” is used when we want to talk about something for the first time, to mention that it exists:

There’s a new sushi place in town.”
(not “A new sushi place is in town.”)

“I’m sorry I’m late, there was lots of traffic on the road.”
(not “It was lots of traffic on the road.”)

There has been a big rise in petrol prices.”

“It” is used to talk about a specific thing:

“We went to the sushi place, it was very nice!”
(“it” = the restaurant)

“I didn’t expect them to come, it was a surprise!”
(“it” = that they came)

“There” can also mean “to/at/in that place”:

“The new sushi place is great. I went there last night.”
(there = to the restaurant)

“When we got to the party, dozens of people were already there.”
(there = at the party)

Other uses of “There”

You can say “there will be / there must be / there might be / there used to be etc.”:

There used to be a forest here, now it’s a car park.”

“Let’s keep looking, there must be a hotel near here.”

Will there be many people at the airport?”

Compare “there” and “it”:

“They live next to the motorway, there must be a lot of noise.”
“They live next to the motorway, it must be very noisy.”

There used to be a hotel here, but it closed ten years ago.”
“That building is a cafe, it used to be a hotel.”

You can also say “there is sure/certain/bound/likely to be …” :

“Let’s keep looking, there is bound to be a hotel near here.”

Other uses of “It”

“It” is also used in sentences like this:

It‘s dangerous to walk alone at night.”

We don’t normally say “To walk alone at night is dangerous.” We normally start with “it”:

It was a shame that you couldn’t come last night.”

It‘s so exciting to travel around Europe.”

“It” can also be used for distance, time and weather:

“How far is it from London to Manchester?”

“What day is it today?”

It was really hot yesterday.”