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Put in IT or THERE, and explain your choice in each case:

a. ... is a lot of ice on the road today.

b. Yes, ... is pretty cold outside.

c. I think ... is something wrong with my car.

d. ... is a strange sound in the engine.

e. ... was lovely to meet your wife again!

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The expressions with there state the existence of something at a particular place. The usual formula is



There [is/are/was/were] [ Noun ] [ Phrase of location ].....


You cannot substitute it for there in any of the following examples.


There is [ ice ] [ on the road ] today.

There was [ snow ] [ on the roof ] yesterday afternoon.

There is [ something wrong ] [ with my car ].

There is [ a strange sound ] [ in the engine ].

There were [ hundreds of people ] [ at the meeting ].


The linking verb can be expanded with modals, adverbs, and other idiomatic expressions without changing the basic idea of the pattern:


There should be [ some paper ] [ in that drawer ].

There is to be [ a concert ] [ in the park ] next Tuesday.

There is sure to be [ a concert ] [ in the park ] next Tuesday.

There could have been [ some money ] [ in that drawer ].

There certainly has been [ some bad weather ] [ in that region ] lately.

There really ought to have been [ more sugar ] [ in those containers ].

________________


If there is no way to construe the sentence as establishing the existence of something or its existence in a place, there should not be used.


It is rather hot today.

It was good to see you.

It has been a pleasure to meet you.

It is impossible to understand why he did that.

It was a dark-haired man who asked us those questions.


CJ

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a there

b it

c there

d there

e it

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Comments  
hi student. I'm just a learner but here's my try:
a. ... is a lot of ice on the road today.

b. Yes, ... is pretty cold outside.

c. I think ... is something wrong with my car.

d. ... is a strange sound in the engine.

e. ... was lovely to meet your wife again!

a there
b it
c there
d there
e it
As a basic explanation, you use there+to be to speak about the existence of something. It+to be refers to impersonal statements and it's used in expressions related to time and weather.
Surely a teacher would see this thread and will check this.
Hi! According to my book you use "there" before nouns or noun phrases and "it" before adjectives and noun clauses. What I don't understand is that right after this explanation they stated the following example:

- There are sure to be casualties.

Shouldn't it be "it" instead of "there" since "sure" is an adjective?

The same book also claims that you use "it" with report verbs. The example wasn't helpfull though:

- There is not thought to be any any serious risk involved in the operation.

Shouldn't it be "it" instead of "there" since "thought to be ..." is a report verb in passive?

Please help! Emotion: sad
Sadly, there is no easy answer. You will have to read a lot and see how native speakers use those two words. I can give you a little (very little!) help by briefly reporting what one popular book says. We use IT to refer to time, distance, weather, and the "general environment": It gets noisy in the cafeteria; It is never crowded at that hotel. We use THERE in three basic ways: (a) location: There are several books on the table; (b) existence: There is a Santa Claus; There are many problems; (c) events: There have been two world wars; There are five people waiting to see you.
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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
If you know French, there are some parallels, and that might help:

Il y a des enfants là-bas.
There are some kids over there.

Il y a un chat dans la voiture.
There's a cat in the car.

Il y a deux choses à faire.
There are two things to do.

Il y a quelqu'un à la porte.
There's someone at the door.
AnonymousIf you know French
It's a good try, but you can't depend on this kind of knowledge on this forum for learning English. We have students from all over the world, and very few besides the French themselves know French.

Suppose you were learning German and asked a question about a German construction. How helpful would it be for your study of German to be told how the same construction works in Hungarian? Emotion: tongue tied See what I mean? Emotion: smile

CJ
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 anonymous's reply was promoted to an answer.

I know, it's been QUITE a while, but could you remember what that

Anonymousone popular book

was. It's just exactly the way I tend to present the subject to my students.

Thanks in advance,

YETY

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