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Is There - Are There

Is There - Are There

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Is There-Are There


Hello! In this lesson, we will learn how to form simple questions with “is there” and “are there”. You will remember from a previous lesson that the expressions “there is” and “there are” are used to indicate the existence of something. “there is” indicates that a single occurrence of the item exists, and “there are” indicates that more than one occurrence of the item exists.

In a similar manner, we may form simple questions to determine the existence of items using “is there” and “are there”. Let us examine several examples of the use of these questions.

We may ask a simple question “Is there an apple?” This question is used to determine the existence of something, in this case “an apple”. If “an apple” does exist, the answer to this question would be “Yes, there is an apple.” and if “an apple” does not exist the answer would be “No, there is not an apple.” It is also possible to use the word “no” in the place of “not” to indicate that an item does not exist.

In this case the answer would be “No, there is no apple.” Notice that when the form “no” is used, we do not need to use the indefinite article “a” or “an”.

If we are questioning the existence of more than one item, then we use the form “are there”. For example, we may ask “Are there apples?” If “apples” do exist, the answer to this question would be “Yes, there are apples.” and if “apples” do not exist the answer would be “No, there are not apples.”

Notice that when the plural form “apples” is used, we do not need to use the indefinite article “a” or “an”. It is also possible to use the word “no” in the place of “not” to indicate that items do not exist. In this case the answer would be “No, there are no apples.” .

Similarly, we may ask a simple question “Is there a beautiful woman?” This question is used to determine the existence of something, in this case “a beautiful woman”. If “a beautiful woman” does exist, the answer to this question would be “Yes, there is a beautiful woman.” and if “a beautiful woman” does not exist the answer would be “No, there is not a beautiful woman.”

It is also possible to use the word “no” in the place of “not” to indicate that items do not exist. In this case the answer would be “No, there is no beautiful woman” Notice that when the form “no” is used, we do not need to use the indefinite article “a” or “an”.

If we are questioning the existence of more than one item, then we use the form “are there”. For example, we may ask “Are there beautiful women?” If “beautiful women” do exist, the answer to this question would be “Yes, there are beautiful women.” and if “beautiful women” do not exist the answer would be “No, there are not beautiful women.”

Notice that when the plural form “women” is used, we do not need to use the indefinite article “a” or “an”. It is also possible to use the word “no” in the place of “not” to indicate that items do not exist. In this case the answer would be “No, there are no beautiful women” .

We may ask a simple question “Is there a red car?” This question is used to determine the existence of something, in this case “a red car”. If “a red car” does exist, the answer to this question would be “Yes, there is a red car.” and if “a red car” does not exist the answer would be “No, there is not a red car.” It is also possible to use the word “no” in the place of “not” to indicate that items do not exist.

In this case the answer would be “No, there is no red car” Notice that when the form “no” is used, we do not need to use the indefinite article “a” or “an”.

If we are questioning the existence of more than one item, then we use the form “are there”. For example, we may ask “Are there red cars?” If “red cars” do exist, the answer to this question would be “Yes, there are red cars.” and if “red cars” do not exist the answer would be “No, there are not red cars.”

Notice that when the plural form “cars” is used, we do not need to use the indefinite article “a” or “an”. It is also possible to use the word “no” in the place of “not” to indicate that items do not exist. In this case the answer would be “No, there are no red cars” .

Let us now listen to a simple dialog which will show more clearly how we may use “is there” and “are there” in a conversation to determine the existence of something.


Jennifer: Are you thirsty, David?

David: Yes, I am very thirsty. Is there water?

Jennifer: No, there is no water.

David: Are there juices?

Jennifer: No, there are no juices.

David: Is there coffee?

Jennifer: Yes, there is coffee.


In this dialog, David is asking Jennifer whether she has various types of beverages.

First, David asks “Is there water?” to determine whether Jennifer has water.

Jennifer responds “No, there is no water.” to indicate she has no water.

David then asks “Are there juices?” to determine whether Jennifer has juices.

Jennifer responds “No, there are no juices.” to indicate she has no juices.

Finally, David asks “Is there coffee?” to determine whether Jennifer has coffee. Jennifer responds “Yes, there is coffee.” to indicate she has coffee.


Let us now listen again to this simple dialog while paying special attention to the use of “is there” and “are there” in a conversation to determine the existence of something.


Jennifer: Are you thirsty, David?

David: Yes, I am very thirsty. Is there water?

Jennifer: No, there is no water.

David: Are there juices?

Jennifer: No, there are no juices.

David: Is there coffee?

Jennifer: Yes, there is coffee.

Now that you have a basic understanding of forming simple questions with “is there” and “are there”, it is your turn to practice speaking in English.