Lets say I get in a bus and notice that the bus conductor today is a lady rather than a guy, What should I say

There is a lady conductor today.
It is a lady conductor today.

I rely on my instincts for them, but on a few occasions like this I am not sure if there is any difference between the two.

  • 6
    Of those two, I prefer the first, although there are other ways to say it as well ("We have a lady conductor today,", e.g.). By the way, at least in the U.S., we use conductor for trains and trolleys, but driver for busses.
    – J.R.
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 9:53
  • 1
    The conductor on a train is the person who takes the tickets. The conductor doesn't drive the train; that's an engineer, driver, or operator. If on a bus, two different people did these jobs, you would call one the conductor. Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 15:08
  • Around here, all buses have machines that take the tickets and/or money. There is no "conductor", unless you count that machine. :)
    – cHao
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 16:55
  • @J.R. I appreciate your comment, Is there any rule to choose between the two, like this yahoo answer page tinyurl.com/brawzdo. It says 'there' is used to introduce noun while it for 'adjective', does this rule apply always?
    – Max
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 18:35
  • @JoeDimaggio: Ah, that's a different question! Now, we're not talking about a "difference in this context", but a "general rule" instead. "There is a limosine!" "What color is it?" "It is black." That noun/adjective rule you cite holds true for that three-line dialogue, but I don't know that it would always be the right way to decide.
    – J.R.
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


There is a bit of a difference of the two. When you use "there is" as you did in the first sentence you stress that something exists. In contrast, when you use "It is" in the above example it is a bit different. "It is" seems to refer to something else that you mentioned earlier in a conversation. If you had been talking with a friend on the way to the train station about how every day there is a different conductor it would make sense to say "It is a lady conductor today". However, if you hadn't mentioned anything about the conductor previously it would sound a little odd. It would sound like you were thinking about something earlier, but didn't say anything about it. It would sound disconnected.


'There is' is used to show the existence of something or someone. 'It is' is used to identify that thing or person. So here you actually wish to say the conductor is a female. So I think it would be appropriate to say "it is a lady conductor today." You already know a conductor exists, now you are trying to say that conductor happens to be a female.

You must log in to answer this question.

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