There is / there are

Verbs

1. There is y there are

There is y there are son dos estructuras equivalentes a la forma impersonal del verbo haber en tiempo presente: hay. Como veremos en este tema, esta estructura se puede utilizar también en otros tiempos verbales.
THERE IS
There is a lot of rice on this plate.
Hay mucho arroz en este plato.
THERE ARE
There are three peppers in my fridge.
Hay tres pimientos en mi nevera.

2. La estructura de there is y there are 

There is se utiliza con nombres contables en singular introducidos por los artículos indeterminados a/an o el número one y con nombres incontables. There are se utiliza con nombres contables en plural. Como veremos a continuación, esta regla se aplica también para el past simple y el present perfect. Sin embargo, no se aplica en el future simple.

  • Present simple (there is, there are)
      Structure Examples
    AFFIRMATIVE Singular There is There is a chair in my room Hay una silla en mi habitación
    Plural There are There are a lot of birds in the sky Hay muchos pájaros en el cielo
    NEGATIVE Singular There isn't There isn't a lift No hay ascensor
    Plural There aren't There aren't dinosaurs in the world No hay dinosaurios en el mundo
    INTERROGATIVE Singular Is there...? Is there a place where I can leave my luggage? Yes, there is ¿Hay algún lugar dónde pueda dejar mi maleta?
    Plural Are there...? Are there any shops open today? No, there aren't ¿Hay tiendas abiertas hoy? No
  • Past simple there was, there were
      Structure Examples
    AFFIRMATIVE Singular There was There was a car accident the other day El otro día hubo un accidente de coche
    Plural There were There were a lot of people at the art exhibition Había mucha gente en la exposición de arte
    NEGATIVE Singular There wasn't There wasn't any milk this morning No había nada de leche esta mañana
    Plural There weren't There weren't any computers three hundred years ago Hace trescientos años no había ordenadores
    INTERROGATIVE Singular Was there...? Was there rubbish on the floor? Yes, there was ¿Había basura en el suelo?
    Plural Were there...? Were there any shops near here? No, there weren't ¿Había tiendas cerca de aquí? No
  • Present perfect (there have been, there has been)
      Structure Examples
    AFFIRMATIVE Singular There has been There has been a robbery at the supermarket Ha habido un robo en el supermercado
    Plural There have been There have been a lot of problems with the computers lately Últimamente ha habido muchos problemas con los ordenadores
    NEGATIVE Singular There hasn't been There hasn't been any snow for months No hay nieve desde hace meses
    Plural There haven't been There haven't been any good concerts lately Últimamente no hay buenos conciertos
    INTERROGATIVE Singular Has there been...? Has there been a party on the beach tonight? Yes, there has ¿Ha habido una fiesta en la playa esta noche?
    Plural Have there been...? Have there been a lot of guests in this hotel? No, there haven't ¿Ha habido muchos huéspedes en este hostal? No
  • Future simple will (there will be)

    A diferencia de los otros tiempos verbales there will be se utilizará tanto con los nombres contables como incontables sin que su forma varíe.

      Structure Examples
    AFFIRMATIVE There will be There will be a full moon tomorrow Mañana habrá luna llena
    NEGATIVE There won't be There won't be any problems No habrá ningún problema
    INTERROGATIVE Will there be...? Will there be yogurts in the fridge? Yes, there will ¿Habrá yogures en la nevera?

3. ¿Cómo se utiliza there is y there are ?

Tanto there is como there are, independientemente del tiempo verbal, se utiliza para:

  • Indicar, negar o preguntarse acerca del lugar en el que un elemento se encuentra situado.
    There where some magazines on the table.
    Hay unas cuantas revistas encima de la mesa.
    Is there a supermarket near here?
    ¿Hay un supermercado cerca de aquí?
  • Expresar, desmentir o preguntarse acerca de la existencia de algo o alguien.
    There have been 3 weddings in my family.
    Ha habido tres bodas en mi familia.
    There aren't any vegan restaurants in this town.
    No hay ningún restaurante vegano en esta ciudad.

¡Recuerda!

There is y there are son dos estructuras equivalentes a la forma impersonal del verbo haber en tiempo presente: hay. Esta estructura se puede utilizar también en otros tiempos verbales.
  Structure Examples
Present simple + There is / there are There is an insect on the table Hay un insecto en la mesa
- There isn't / there aren't There aren't any cookies No hay galletas
? Is there...? / are there...? Is there a blue folder in your room? No, there isn't ¿Hay una carpeta azul en tu habitación? No
Past simple + There was / there were There was an unknown dog in the garden the other day El otro día había un perro desconocido en el jardín
- There wasn't / there weren't There weren't apples in the fridge No había manzanas en la nevera
? Was there...? / were there...? Were there lots of squirrels in Hyde Park? Yes, there were Había muchas ardillas en Hyde park?
Present perfect + There has been / there have been There has been an accident in the underground Ha habido un accidente en el metro
- There hasn't been / there haven't been There haven't been any changes No ha habido cambios
? Have there been / has there been Have there been any storms recently? No there haven't Ha habido tormentas recientemente? No
Future simple + There will be There will be a concert near here Habrá un concierto cerca de aquí
- There won't be There won't be enough space No habrá suficiente espacio
? Will there be...? Will there be classes tomorrow? Yes, there will Habrá clases mañana? Si