The difference between it and there is not as hard as you think. Read this page at least twice or until you understand it, and then take the quiz afterwards to see how you do.
It is always singular and the verb that follows is in the singular form ( ‘s’ on the end in the present tense.) It is a pronoun which refers to things or actions.
Where’s the TV remote control? It’s on the coffee table. (It = remote control)
I got a haircut yesterday, but I don’t like it very much. (it = haircut)
The roadblock was successful because it caught eleven drunk drivers. (it = roadblock)
I love playing poker. It’s my favorite activity. (It = playing poker)
I have to put away my work every night, and I think it’s ridiculous. (It = putting away my work every night)
We’ve been arguing a lot lately, and it’s getting worse. (It = arguing)
It is also used with be + adjective + object. It doesn’t really mean anything but is used as an artificial subject The real subject is the object of the sentence.
It is important to clean up after we finish.
To clean up after we finish is important.
It’s clear that he doesn’t know what to do.
That he doesn’t know what to do is clear.
It was brave of you to save that girl from drowning.
To save that girl from drowning was brave of you.
It is also used with be + a singular or plural noun (person, place or thing.) It doesn’t really mean anything but is used as an artificial subject. The real subject is the object of the sentence.
It was Susan who cleaned the fridge this morning.
Susan cleaned the fridge this morning.
It is my friends who are giving me a going-away party
My friends are giving me a going-away party.
It was Vancouver that won the game against Calgary last night.
Vancouver won the game against Calgary last night.
It was Sochi, Russia, that was chosen as the host city for the 2014 Olympics.
Sochi, Russia, was chosen as the host city for the 2014 Olympics.
It is a traffic accident that is causing this slowdown.
A traffic accident is causing this slowdown.
It was his shoulders that were injured in the accident.
His shoulders were injured in the accident.
Similarly, it is used for weather, time and distance. Again, it doesn’t really mean anything but serves as the subject of the sentence.
It has been raining for four hours.
We’d better bring our boots because it’s going to snow.
It’s not even twelve o’clock yet.
I think it was four in the morning when we left the party.
It’s too far to drive, so let’s take the train.
It is 200 kilometers from here to Seattle.
There, on the other hand, can be singular or plural depending on the object that follows. There is used to state that something exists, something is real. There, like it, doesn’t really mean anything but is used as an artificial subject. The real subject is the object of the sentence.
There are 24 students in this class.
24 students are in this class.
There is only one correct answer.
One correct answer exists.
There are many reasons why he can’t help.
Many reasons exist for why he can’t help.
There must be an explanation.
An explanation must exist.
Notice that the verb is plural when the object is plural.
Here’s an exercise to test your understanding:
© 2013 Ambien Malecot