+ be + noun phrase
use there with the verb to be to indicate that something
exists or does not exist. The thing that exists is always a noun
or noun phrase. Note that be can take many different forms:
is / are / was / were / will be
/ going to be / has been / may have been /
seems to be / etc. Compare the following:
there's a fly in my soup! (Rather than: Waiter, a fly is
in my soup!)
must have been at home. There was a light at her window.
can hear thunder in the distance. There's going to be
been an outbreak of measles in Manchester.
water is getting through. There seems to be /
may be a blockage in the downpipe.
you can see, we use there + be to identify subjects
that have indefinite articles. We also use this structure with indefinite
determiners (no, some, any) and with indefinite
pronouns (anything, something, nobody, someone):
think there will be a power cut this afternoon. Are
there any candles in the house?
something worrying you, isn't there?
~ I can't get through to Brenda on the phone. I think there
must be something wrong.
often use this structure with sense, point, and need:
isn't any sense / any point in going out to
the shops now. They'll be closing in five minutes.
no need to worry. I'm sure she's safe at home.
She wouldn't go out in a storm.
that when the subject in question has already been identified or
there is no doubt that it exists, there is no need to use this structure.
It would sound unnatural:
found the candles, but are there any matches? ~
~ Where are the matches? ~ The matches are in the
same drawer as the candles.
(NOT: There are the matches in the same drawer as the candles.)
you going out, Brenda?
~ Yes, Brian is waiting for me outside.
(NOT: There is Brian waiting for me outside.)