"There is" and "there are" are two very common constructions in English that are important to know. This unit looks at how and when to use these two expressions.
"There is" and "There are"
If we want to signify that something exists, existed, or has existed in some form or quantity, we use the phrase “There + be/have”, depending on in what tense we are speaking.
There is/are (present)
There is some coffee in the lunch room. (Coffee was made and is currently in the lunchroom).
There is a chance of rain this afternoon. (The chance of rain exists this afternoon)
There are donuts in the lunch room. (Donuts are in the lunchroom for everyone)
There are several different options. (Different options exist)
There was/were (simple past)
There was lightning earlier.
There was a car accident on the highway.
There were several delays at the airport.
There were many people in the audience.
There has/have been (present perfect)
There has been an accident.
There has been one case of the flu.
There have been many presidents, but never one this young.
There have been three hurricanes this summer.
There will be/going to be (future)
There will be several thunderstorms this evening.
There are going to be consequences to your actions.