1. An old man is sitting on the bench.


  1. There is an old man sitting on the bench.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Feb 9 '16 at 1:35

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • 1
    They are both fine, and might be used in slightly different contexts. See this discussion. – Peter Shor Feb 8 '16 at 1:28
  • 1
    The first is simply descriptive. The second hints that "the old man" will be the subject of further discussion. – Hot Licks Feb 8 '16 at 1:40

I'm sure if you wrote about an old man on a bench every day, at some point you would know him well enough, to simply call him "The old man". :)

Jokes aside.

An old man is sitting on the bench


There is an old man sitting on the bench

are perfectly equivalent. Use them interchangeably, picking the one whose rhythm you prefer in the context of the surrounding sentences.

Your Answer

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