I know that " There Refers to a Place ". However, i'm a little bit confused. I know it's wrong but I'm trying to use both words "there" and "a specific place" in a sentence and the examples below make sense to me. Could someone clear up this situation for me?

Each team has to be maximum 11 players = There cannot be more than 11 player of a team.

A-There cannot be more than 11 players of a team.

B-There cannot be more than 11 players in a team.

Just a native speaker say to me that it's impossible. Because i can't stop myself from thinking about it. :)

  • 1
    There are many ways of using "there" that don't refer to an actual "place". Jan 15, 2019 at 18:51
  • That's why it makes sense to me. I just believed that explanation of there and then i was confused. ("there refers to a place") Jan 15, 2019 at 19:16
  • 2
    No, not to a place here. This is the existential pronoun "there", not the locative preposition "there". Compare "There (existential) are 11 players over there (locative)".
    – BillJ
    Jan 15, 2019 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


In your example sentence, "there" is used as a pronoun. It does not really refer to a place in this context. Here the word is used to introduce an existential clause.

Native speakers will usually say "players on a team", so your sentence should be:

There cannot be more than 11 players on a team.

Again, "there" doesn't refer to a place where the teams will be; it is just a pronoun introducing the situation described by the sentence.

  • 1
    This is existential "there".
    – BillJ
    Jan 15, 2019 at 19:46

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