Which usage of "there" is proper for future tense?

  1. Is there Liverpool's match tomorrow?


  1. Will there be Liverpool's match tomorrow?


My point is that how can I use "there" with future tense. You can give different examples about the topic. Another one with more detail in the context:

  1. According to weather forecast it is heavily snowy tomorrow. Are there any matches in Premier League or are they postponed?


  1. According to weather forecast it is heavily snowy tomorrow. Will there be any matches in Premier League or are they postponed?
  • “There” is not proper in either phrasing. “Will Liverpool’s match be tomorrow?” and “Is Liverpool’s match tomorrow?” are both correct, as are “Is there a match tomorrow?” and “Will there be a match tomorrow?”. Hopefully someone can explain why. Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 20:49
  • @Tyler James Young I can not see a difference between a match and Liverpool's match.
    – ismailcem
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 21:05
  • I think it has something to do with “there” being a sort of placeholder that becomes unnecessary when you specify the match. Hopefully someone will come along and explain what everyone keeps saying about taking out “there” in this case. Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 21:10
  • 2
    @Araucaria Well, that's a sorta generalized rule-of-thumb kinda thingie, but there are probably so many exceptions that it's probably better to get the context provided first before any final decision is made on any single existential-construction type of utterance, imo. (I think I've got enough hedging in there to protect myself, I hope. shrugs)
    – F.E.
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 6:56
  • 1
    If you can provide a reasonable context, then yes. :)
    – F.E.
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 19:44

4 Answers 4


ADDENDUM to Tyler James Young's comment and answers by user3169, nicael, and dantiston
(Please don't upvote this: it doesn't address the main question, the use of futurive will.)

These answers tell you that the there BE construction (the ‘existential’ construction) is not ordinarily used for statements of this sort.

The reasons are complicated—the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, for instance, devotes five and a half pages to ‘pragmatic constraints’ on the existential construction, and CGEL is just a summary!

But a good rule of thumb is that the primary purpose of this construction is to present its complement, what follows the There BE, as new information—it announces the existence or occurrence of something which the speaker presumes the hearers don’t know about. For example:

There’s a match with Liverpool tomorrow.
There will be a match with Liverpool tomorrow.

This assumes that the hearers don’t know about this match.

Note that the speaker uses a match; the indefinite article also suggests new information. But the match and Liverpool’s match use definite determiners; these mark old information, things that the hearers already know about, so they don’t suit the existential construction very well.

However, there are some circumstances where the existential construction does accept definite complements. For instance:

YOU: I don't see any games worth watching on tomorrow.
ME: Well, there’s Liverpool’s match.

In this case the match information is ‘hearer-old’—I know you already know about it, so I use the. But I believe you have overlooked it, or forgotten it, so I can use the existential construction because it is ‘discourse-new’—I am bringing it into the conversation for the first time.

  • Is that futurive or futurative? Genuine question ... Could look it up but ... just in case it's helpful ... Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 20:14
  • @Araucaria It's futurive, but it's nonstandard - I use it to distinguish this use of will from other modal uses. I believe CGEL and others use futurate for present-with-future-reference. Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 20:41

As a statement, what sounds natural to me is:

Liverpool's match will be tomorrow.

Then as a question, I would say:

Will Liverpool's match be tomorrow?


It should be a scheduled event, so I would choose the first option.

Is there Liverpool's match tomorrow?

(If I were you, I would remove there altogether.)


The first one is better:

I would expect it in this sort of context:

Speaker 1: "Today there's London's match and Birminham's match today. Tomorrow, there's Bristol's match and Lakefield's match."

Speaker 2: "Is there Liverpool's match tomorrow?"

However, out of context it would be strange, I think, to use "there". If you want to ask a question out of context, then I would say:

"Is Liverpool's match tomorrow?"

As for future tense, it's not always used with tomorrow, but sometimes is (I think this has to do with most of English's tenses having strange aspects):

"I will go to the store tomorrow."

"I am going to the store tomorrow."

"I was going to go to the store tomorrow."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .