We have already studied the verb HAVE. Today we will deal with the expressions THERE IS and THERE ARE. These expressions may be confusing for Hebrew Speakers.
I have a book. (יש לי)
Dana also has a book. (יש לה)
There is a book on the table. (יש)
There are books on the table. (יש)
And in the Past,
I had a headache last night. (היה לי)
There was a wonderful party last night. (הייתה)
There were many guests at the party. (היו)
and in the Future,
I hope we will have a lot of fun at the party.
I hope there will not be a lot of traffic on our way home.
When possession refers to a certain person, we use HAVE: ‘יש לי, יש לך, יש לו, וכו.
Wheמ possession is general, we use THERE IS: יש.
Some students may be confused about the differences between THERE IS and IT IS.
There is a lot of noise here. (יש)
It is a beautiful day. (זה)
There was a lot of noise at the party. (היה)
It was a difficult exam. (זה היה)
In this case, I would recommend translating and comparing in order to avoid confusion:
There is, there are: יש
It is: זה – No Plural.
There was, there were: היה, היו
It was: זה היה – No Plural.
Let’s remind our students that its and it’s do not mean the same.
It’s (it is) a lovely dress.
What a wonderful dog. Look at its tail.
And that’s all for today. My next post will deal with the Present Perfect.
For more detais, please see:
דקדוק אנגלי לדוברי עברית, p48-50