Lesson 61: EMPTY SUBJECTS

Every sentence must have a subject (Lesson 1), but sometimes the subject does not mean anything.

There

We do not usually put new information at the beginning of a sentence.

So instead of [1]: the first sentence, we can write [2]: the second sentence.

[1] A man is at the door.
[2] There is a man at the door.

[1] Books were on the desk.
[2] There were books on the desk.

[1] An accident has happened.
[2] There has been an accident.

[1] A short break will now happen.
[2] There will now be a short break.

[1] Is a bank near here?
[2] Is there a bank near here?

[1] A lot of work is to be done.
[2] There is a lot of work to do.

[1] We were six there.
[2] There were six of us there.

NOTICE: After there, the verb is be.


It

If we want to describe an activity or an event, we often use it as an empty subject.

So instead of [1]: the first sentence, we can write [2]: the second sentence.

[1] Leaning out of the window is dangerous.
[2] It is dangerous to lean out of the window.

[1] Meeting so many old friends was wonderful.
[2] It was wonderful to meet so many old friends.

[1] Seeing her so unhappy is terrible.
[2] It is terrible to see her so unhappy.

[1] Travelling to all those different places must be very interesting.
[2] It must be very interesting to travel to all those different places.

[1] Driving to work takes me twenty minutes.
[2] It takes me twenty minutes to drive to work.


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