Difference Between There Is, There Are, There Was, and There Were

Check the difference between There is/ There are and There was / There were with examples

We use There in the beginning of the sentence. It is called introductory. The use of There is very important. But the non-native learners of English get a bit confused over its proper use. Especially the confusion arises a bit in the use of There is/ There are  and There was/ There were. We will try to illustrate this difference via some examples below.

Here read the correct use of There in a sentence.

First see the difference between There ( is/ are) and There ( was /were).

We use There is or There are in the present tense whereas There was or There were in the past tense.

Use of Tense

Present Tense –

a. There is a peacock in the garden.

b. There are some peacocks in the garden.

c. There is one girl in the class.

d. There are many girls in the class.

Past Tense –

a. There was a monkey in the garden half an hour ago.

b. There were monkeys in the street in the morning.

c. There were many girls in the class yesterday.

d. There was no milk in the jug for making tea.

So it is obvious from both types of examples, that we use is/are with There in Present Tense and was/were in Past Tense.

Difference between There is and There are –

a. There is boys in the room.

b. There are a boy playing outside.

Both the sentences are wrong. See the correct sentences –

a. There are boys in the room.

b. There is a boy in the room.

We use There is with singular nouns whereas There are with plural nouns. See more examples –

a. There is one coin in my pocket.

b. There are some coins in my pocket.

c. There is no one outside.

d. There is much crowd in the park. ( the words crowd, team etc are considered singular )

e. There are people outside.

f. There are two apples in the refrigerator.

g. There is milk in the jug. ( Material Noun/ Uncountable Nouns such as milk/ Air/ Sugar/ Food/ Wood etc take singular verb is with them. Therefore we use There is here. )

f. There is much sugar in the tea.

g. There are many questions in this chapter. ( Much takes There is while Many, there are )

h. There is a lot of water in the well.

i. There are lot of people in the election rally. ( If lot is used with uncountable noun, we use There is otherwise with plural noun we will use There are)

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