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Grammar Syntax/Writing Punctuation Vocabulary Pronunciation ESL Station


There is or there are?  Which should it be?  Point at the book.  Use There is + a singular count or noncount noun. Use There are + a plural noun.  

For compound subjects, use There is if the first noun in the series is singular. Use There are if the first noun in the series is plural.

Read the following example sentences.  Would you use is or are? Click on the hidden text to see the answer.


There [ ... ] is  a package on the porch.
There [ ... ]are two people ringing the doorbell.
There [ ... ] is  some ice cream in the freezer.
There [ ... ]is some milk and juice in the refrigerator.
There [ ... ]are several vegetables in the crisper  drawer in fridge for veggies.  

There [ ... ]are some ice cream bars and a pie for dessert.

Study the pictures below and complete the sentences below each picture by writing There is or There are in the text field. Then hit Enter. Type the word help or ? if you have difficulty. [There is an audio file at the end of this activity.]

1. a very steep and winding road in this picture.

2. a police car, a jeep and a bus at the side of this mountainous  very hilly road through mountains  

3. several people looking down the hill.  

4. a stone wall along the side of the mountain.

5. probably a mangled  wrecked  
 car or two at the bottom of this hillside.

1. a building on a college campus in this picture.

2. several students outside the building, enjoying a fine spring day.

3. a student in a white jacket walking toward the building.

4. a couple of students leaving the building. They are walking down the steps.

5. a guy in a striped jacket walking up the steps.

6. a large cherry tree on either side  on both sides  of the steps.  

7. pink and white blossoms  flowers on trees   everywhere.  

8. Unfortunately,   an ugly trash can on the sidewalk in front of the building.

9. a large entry and two windows on either side of it.

10. four large columns  round pillars   across the entrance to the building.  
In speech and often in writing, the contraction There's is often used for there is.  
 Never contract There are.  
Now listen to the sentences. There is will be contracted.   

Content development by Kathleen Hanson, San Jose City College.
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