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Sentence Patterns using "Is there...? / Are there...?"

There is used to tell what exists in a place or at a time. We use these questions to ask whether something exists or does not exist at a time or place.

We use a singular noun (one) or a non-count noun after "Is there...".
  • Is there a dog in the garden?
  • Is there any milk?
Use a plural noun (more than one) after "Are there...?".
  • Are there 10 apples?
  • Are there many people in the coffee shop?
Is there + noun...?
  • Is there any coffee left?
  • Is there a book in that bag?
  • Is there any money in our bank account?
  • Is there a pharmacy in this neighborhood?
Are there + nouns...?
  • Are there many people in your yoga class?
  • Are there 5 speakers today at the conference?
  • Are there a lot of children in your neighborhood?
  • Are there any cookies left?
We can make past tense questions by changing "is" to "was" or changing "are" to "were".

Was there + noun?
  • Was there a party last night?
  • Was there a meeting yesterday afternoon?
  • Was there a storm yesterday?
Were there + nouns?
  • Were there many people at the conference last year?
  • Were there any questions after you explained our plan?
  • Were there many problems with your old computer?
Bonus Tips and Points1. We often use indefinite pronouns with these questions.

We use "some" and "any" with plural nouns and non-count nouns. "Some" and "any" have the same meaning and are used in the same way with these questions.
  • Is there any coffee?
  • Is there some coffee in the pot?
  • Are there any cookies in the kitchen?
  • Are there some cookies left?
We can use "something" or "anything" as a singular noun. So, we always use them with "Is there...?". With questions, these have the same meaning and are used the same way.
  • Is there something burning?
  • Is there anything good on TV?
We can also use other similar words.
  • Is there someone at the door?
  • Is there anyone at the party?
Real-World English Conversations

A) Is there a meeting about the project next week?
B) Yes, there is a meeting scheduled for next Wednesday at 2.

A) Was there a tall man with red hair at the party?
B) Yes. How did you know that?
A) That is my brother. He told me that he was going to go.

A) Are there any eggs in the fridge?
B) I think that there are a few eggs.

A) Is there a sale at that store now?
B) Yes. Everything is 50% off.

A) Is there anything I can do to help you?
B) No. I think that I need to solve this problem on my own.

A) Is there anything in my teeth?
B) Yes. There is a big piece of lettuce in your teeth. You should go to the bathroom.

Study these free English lessons to improve your English speaking. If you learn these common sentence patterns well, then your English speaking will improve greatly and you will be able to have fluent conversations in English in the near future! Study the lessons well, practice using the sentences and questions at home and in real life, and make sure to come back to review the material so you do not forget. If you do these three things, then you will be speaking English like a native English speaker in no time!

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