I wonder if there is still someone around here.

If there means that you are indicating something in the distance, why it is necessary to use it?


In English, we use the word "there" in two different ways: as an adverb and as an expletive.

The italicized there in your first sentence is an expletive. As an expletive, there does not indicate a location as it does when used as an adverb. Think of the expletive there as meaning the existence or presence of something. Also note that it typically occurs with some form of be: There is/are..., There was/were, etc.

(expletive there with "be" verb) There is a problem with this computer. A problem exists with this computer.

(adverbial "locational" there) I went to Tokyo last month. I saw many people there. I saw many people in that place.

For some additional explanation and examples, check here.

  • 1
    I'd put there is bold instead of just there: the there is is the expression that means the existence or presence of something. – András Hummer Jan 27 '15 at 9:07
  • Good point, since it partners up with the "be" copula. I'll make the edit. – pyobum Jan 27 '15 at 9:10

In this case, "there" is not something at a distance (I think you are thinking of "asoko" in Japanese), rather it refers to something that exists.

There is explanation and examples of this usage here: http://www.grammar.cl/Present/ThereIsThereAre.htm

(^^^^ see how I used it up there?)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.