There is in French (Il y a)

How to use "il y a" in a sentence?

Il y a is probably one of the most common and useful expressions in French.
It is used to express the presence of persons or things. It can be translated as "there is/are".
For example:
  • Il y a beaucoup de gens dans le parc. (There are a lot of people at the park.)
  • Il y a des étudiants dans la classe. (There are some students in the classroom.)
  • Il y a des plantes dans ma chambre. (There are some plants in my bedroom.)

Il y a with negation

Il n’y a pas is the negative form of "il y a" and it means “there isn't”/ “there aren't.”
After il n'y a pas, the indefinite articles (un, une, des) become "de". This can be translated as "any" in English. 
For example:
  • Il y a des cafés dans mon quartier, mais il n'y a pas DE banques. (There are coffee shops in my neighbourhood, but there aren't any banks.)

Ask a question using Il y a 

To form a question, one can use Est-ce que or inversion form:
  • Est-ce qu'il y a un marché dans ton quartier? (In your neighbourhood do you have a farmer's market?) 
  • Y-a-t-il une radio dans ta maison? (Do you have a radio in your home?)

About Umut

Canadian French teacher
I have been teaching French to adults for more than 5 years in Canada. I'm a certified French teacher, and I'm currently PhD Candidate in French Studies at Western University. I love reading, travelling and learning new languages. 
I've created unique downloadable learning materials focusing primarily on improving speaking and understanding in French.
I'm also helping thousands of French learners on my Instagram page.
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