83 There ... and it ...

There and it'
We use there ... when we talk about something for the first time, to say that it exists:
* There's a new restaurant in King Street. (not 'A new restaurant is in King Street')
* The journey took a long time. There was a lot of traffic. (not 'It was a lot of traffic')
* * Things are much more expensive now. There has been a big rise in the cost of living.

It = a particular thing, place, fact, situation etc.:
* We went to the new restaurant. It's very good. (it = the restaurant)
* 'Was the traffic bad?' 'Yes, it was terrible.' (it = the traffic)
* I wasn't expecting them to come. It (= that they came) was a complete surprise.

* I don't like this town. There's nothing to do here. It's a boring place.
Note that there also means 'to/at/in that place':
* The new restaurant is very good. I went there (= to the restaurant) last night.
* When we arrived at the party, there were already a lot of people there (= at the party).

You can say there will be, there must be, there used to be etc.
* Will there be many people at the party?
* 'Is there a flight to Paris this evening?' 'There might be. I'll phone the airport.'
* If people drove more carefully, there wouldn't be so many accidents.
Also: there must have been, there should have been etc.:
* There was a light on. There must have been somebody at home.

Compare there and it:
* They live on a busy road. There must be a lot of noise from the traffic.
They live on a busy main road. It must be very noisy.
* There used to be a cinema in King Street but it closed a few years ago.
That building is now a supermarket. It used to be a cinema.

You can also say there is sure/certain/likely to be something:
* There is sure to be a flight to Paris this evening.

We use it in sentences like this:
* It's dangerous to walk in the road. (It = to walk in the road)
It is unusual to say 'To walk in the road is dangerous.' Normally we begin with It...
* It didn't take us long to get here. (it = to get here)
* It's a pity (that) Sandra can't come to the party. (It = that Sandra can't come)
* Let's go. It's not worth waiting any longer. (It = waiting any longer)

We use it to talk about distance, time and weather:
* It's a long way from here to the airport.
* How far is it to the airport?
* What day is it today?
* It's a long time since I last saw you.
* It's going to be a nice day.
* It was windy. (but 'There was a cold wind.')

83.1 Put in there is/was or it is/was. Some sentences are questions (is there ...?/is it ...? etc.) and some are negative (isn't/wasn't).
1. The journey took a long time. _There was_ a lot of traffic.
2. What's the new restaurant like? is _it_ good?
3. '--- a bookshop near here?' 'Yes, --- one in Hill Street.'
4. When we got to the cinema --- a queue outside ---a very long queue, so we decided not to wait.
5. I couldn't see anything --- completely dark.
6. --- trouble at the club last night. They had to call the police.
7. How far --- from Milan to Rome?
8. --- Keith's birthday yesterday. We had a party.
9. --- three years since I last went to the theatre.
10. I wanted to visit the museum but --- enough time.
11. '--- time to go?' 'Yes, --- nearly midnight.'
12. A few days ago --- a storm. --- a lot of damage.
13. --- a beautiful day yesterday. We had a picnic.
14. --- anything on television, so I turned it off.
15. --- an accident in King Street but --- very serious.

83.2 Read the first sentence and then write a sentence beginning There...
1. The roads were busy today. _There was a lot of traffic._
2. This soup is very salty. There --- in the soup.
3. The box was empty. --- in the box.
4. The film was very violent. ---
5.The shops were very crowded. ---
6. I like this town - it's lively. ---

83.3 Complete the sentences. Use there will be, there would be etc. Choose from:
will might would wouldn't should used to (be) going to
1. If people drove more carefully, there would be fewer accidents.
2. 'Have we got any eggs?' 'I'm not sure --- some in the fridge.'
3. I think everything will be OK. I don't think --- any problems.
4. Look at the sky --- a storm.
5. 'Is there a school in the village?' 'Not now --- one but it closed.'
6. People drive too fast on this road. I think --- a speed limit.
7. If people weren't aggressive --- any wars.

83.4 Are these sentences right or wrong? Change it to there where necessary.
1. They live on a busy road. It must be a lot of noise. _WRONG; There must be ..._
2. Last winter it was very cold and it was a lot of snow.
3. I wish it was warmer. I hate cold weather.
4. It used to be a church here, but it was knocked down.
5. It's a long way from my house to the nearest shop.
6. Why was she so unfriendly? It must have been a reason.
7. I don't know who will win but it's sure to be a good match.
8. 'Where can we park the car?' 'Don't worry. It's sure to be a car park somewhere.'
9. After the lecture it will be an opportunity to ask questions.
10. I like the place where I live but it would be nicer to live by the sea.
11. I was told that it would be somebody to meet me at the station but it wasn't anybody.


3 Is there ... there is/there's

4 there was ... It was

5 It was

6 There was

7 is it

8 It was

9 It is/It's

10 there wasn't

11 Is it ... it's

12 there was ... There was

13 It was

14 There wasn't

15 There was ... it wasn't


2 There is a lot of salt in the soup.

3 There was nothing in the box.

4 There was a lot of violence in the film.

5 There were a lot of people in the shops.

6 Example answers:

There is/There's a lot to do in this town./... a lot of life in this town./... a lot happening in this town.


2 There might be or There should be

3 there will be or there should be

4 There's going to be or There might be

5 There used to be

6 there should be

7 there wouldn't be


2 there was a lot of snow

3 right

4 There used to be a church here

5 right

6 There must have been a reason.

7 right

8 There's sure to be a car park somewhere.

9 there will be an opportunity

10 right

11 there would be somebody to meet me at the station but there wasn't anybody.