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IELTS Grammar | Speaking: "There" as a pronoun

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

"There" is often overlooked by English language learners.

Compare the two paragraphs below, which is more varied?

 

1. We reached the carpark after midnight and we saw that our car was the only one remaining.

 

2. We reached the carpark after midnight. There was only one car remaining, it was ours.

 

Naturally, most people will agree that the second option is more varied. Using "there" at the beginning of your sentence creates variety. Today we'll learn how to make sentences this way.


BUT FIRST, A NOTE: Learning and using new structures will take time, so please don't be hard on yourself. Enjoy the ride as much as possible.

 

First, how do you make sentences using "there" as pronouns?

The sentence will always start like so: [There] + [be] + [noun]

For example, There was a girl.

*Remember that [be] needs to reflect the subject and tenses. i.e. third singular, past tense, etc.


Next, when should you use "there"?


This is easy to remember:

We use "there" when we first refer to the existence of something or someone.


Here are some real-world situations where you can use this structure:


  • you are making a general observation.

    • As soon as I entered the meeting room, I noticed the crowd. There were too many people in the room.

    • There are lots of places to visit in this city.

    • There is a long queue outside the restaurant.

    • There was a huge tree in the middle of the garden. I was stunned by its beauty.


  • you want to direct someone's attention to something.

    • There was a postcard on my table, did you see it?

    • There is not much time left until the meeting starts. We should get going.

    • There was something stuck between his teeth but I was too embarrassed to tell him.


  • you want to explain a past or future action.

    • There was nothing left to do, so we just waited.

    • There were a few options to choose from, we went with the cheapest one.

    • There will be no food left once we arrive - we are going to be very late.


In the next post, we will look at different ways to practice using "there" and how to apply it for all the IELTS speaking parts


In the meantime, continue making sentences using "there". You've got this!


Leave your questions and sentences in the comment section below.

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