There

'There' is a pronoun used as the subject of a sentence. In this part, we will go through its uses and grammatical rules in English grammar.

The Pronoun "There" in the English Grammar

There is a word most commonly used as a pronoun. In this lesson, we will discuss when and how to use it.

Functions of 'There'

1. 'There' as a Dummy Subject Pronoun

Use

There as a dummy pronoun, also called existential 'there', can be used with singular or plural verbs. There introduces a subject that comes later in a sentence. Look at its uses:

  • There is used to indicate the time or the place of something. For example:

There will be a party tonight.

'There' actually introduces the subject 'a party' that comes later.

There are a few parks in the downtown.

'There' indicates the place: a few parks

There is one book and two pencils in my bag.

'Book and pencils' are countable.

There is some rice in the container.

'Rice' is uncountable.

There seemed to be a cute kitten.

There remained some doubt about the incident.

Position in a Sentence

There as a dummy subject pronoun replaces the subject. There actually introduces the subject that comes later in the sentence. For example:

There is always plenty to eat in my mom's house.

'Plenty to eat' is the real subject.

There is some rice in the container.

This sentence is actually 'some rice is in the container.'

2. 'There' as an Adverb

Use

There as an adverb is mainly used to refer to the place of something. But it has more uses:

  • There is used to refer to a place that has already been mentioned. For example:

I plan to travel to France. I like living there.

'There' is an adverb referring to 'France.'

  • There is used on the phone when asking if someone is available. For example:

Hello, this is Sami. Is Roza there?

This conversation is on the phone.

  • There is used in conversations to refer to a point that someone makes. For example:

A : I think global warming never ends.

B : I agree with you there.

  • There is used in expressions like 'there you are' or 'there we are' to emphasize that the speaker is right. For example:

There you go! I told you this is not ok.

There we are! You didn't accept what I have told you.

  • There in expressions like 'there you are' or 'there we are' is used when accepting an undesirable situation. For example:

A : I do believe age matters in relationships.

B : I don't think so but ok, there you go.

  • There in expressions like 'there we were', 'there he was', etc. is used in story-telling to summarize a story or to slow down the pace of a story. For example:

And there he was, happy, living ever after.

Here, the speaker sums up the story.

Then there she was, looking like an angel, ready to kiss her fiancé.

Here, the speaker is slowing down the pace of their story-telling.

Position in a Sentence

There as an adverb comes at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence. Look:

There we are! You didn't accept what I have told you.

'There' is at the beginning of the sentence.

Then there she was, looking like an angel, ready to kiss her fiancé.

'There' is in the middle.

Hello, this is Sami. Is Roza there?

'There' is at the end of the sentence.

'There' in Exclamations

There can be used in exclamations to show the speaker's feelings. Such as:

There again! She doesn't stop.

Here, the speaker seems to be angry.

There, I told you I can make it.

'There' shows the speaker is satisfied with something.

'There there' in Exclamtions

There there is used when we want to calm down someone else, particularly a small angry child. Look:

There, there, you will be ok, honey.

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