Il y a = There is, There are

Look at these examples:

Il y a un oiseau dans mon jardin.   
There is a bird in my garden.

Dans ma maison, il y a cinq pièces.
In my house, there are five rooms.

À Paris, il y a la Tour Eiffel.
In Paris, there is the Eiffel Tower.

Dans ma chambre, il y a un lit, un bureau et une chaise.
In my bedroom, there is a bed, a desk and a chair.

To say there is/there are in French, you use the fixed expression il y a (literally "it has there").

Note: Il y a never changes, even if there is more than one object.

It consists of three separate words: il + y + a.

Never write
il ya, even though it's pronounced that way.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

À Londres, il y a beaucoup de touristes.
In London, there are many tourists.


Dans ma maison, il y a cinq pièces.
In my house, there are five rooms.


À Paris, il y a la Tour Eiffel.
In Paris, there is the Eiffel Tower.


Il y a un oiseau dans mon jardin.   
There is a bird in my garden.



Dans ma chambre, il y a un lit, un bureau et une chaise.
In my bedroom, there is a bed, a desk and a chair.


Dans ma ville, il y a deux parcs.
In my town, there are two parks.


Il y a un monstre!
There's a monster!


Q&A Forum 13 questions, 25 answers

Tell me if I'm correct

Asked 4 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Marshaline, 

Elle a deux livres dans son sac.

Il a un lit, un bureau et une chaise.

Dans ma chambre il n'y a pas de lit, de bureau ni de chaise.

Je m'appelle Marshaline et il y a un oiseau dans mon jardin.

Take a look at the following lesson which explains PAS DE -

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/the-partitive-article-in-negative-sentences

 

 

Elle a 2 livres dans mon sac  (she has 2 books in her bag)

Il a un lit, un bureau et une chair (He has a bed, a desk and a chair)

Dans ma chambre,il n'y a pas un lit, un bureau et une chaise ( In my bedroom there are no bed, desk and chair)

Je m'appelle Marshaline et il y a oiseau dans mon jardin ( My name is marshaline and there is a bird in my garden)

Tell me if I'm correct

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Il y a vs il se trouve

just did a writing lesson...”we’ll walk up to the park where is a big sandpit.”  I thought about “où il y a” but decided that “où se trouve un...” fitted better in this context.  Wrong!  When is it best to use which expression and why?
Asked 7 months ago

Il y a vs il se trouve

just did a writing lesson...”we’ll walk up to the park where is a big sandpit.”  I thought about “où il y a” but decided that “où se trouve un...” fitted better in this context.  Wrong!  When is it best to use which expression and why?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

il is he so why is it not read as he has 3 houses

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Anushree,

If I have understood your question correctly- 

'Il a trois maisons'  would be, 'He has three houses'

'Il Y a trois maisons' =  There are three houses

Il Y A is an idiomatic expression which can be conjugated across tenses but has only one form ILan impersonal pronoun.

Hope this helps!

Bonjour,

Thank you so much. It helps.

Regards,

Anushree

il is he so why is it not read as he has 3 houses

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

SwatiA1

Is the negative inversion for , or ?

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Swati,

The correct answer is -

N'y a-t-il pas?

 

 

SwatiA1
Sorry, it removed all my quoted words. If negative question, should I use n'y a-t-il pas or y n'a-t-il pas?
SwatiA1
Merci.
Swati asked:View original

Is the negative inversion for , or ?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Il ya a, c'est and ce sont

Hello, I am having difficulty when to use Il ya a, c'est and ce sont. Is there a resource on Kwiziq that can teach me the right way to use these alternatives?
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Just a correction to Chris' excellent answer you cannot say:

"Ils sont des enfants" always "Ce sont des enfants".

In the same way as,

"C'est Marie " and not "Elle est Marie" or

"C'est mon frère" and not "Il est mon frère"

Hope this helps!

Ok, let's take "il y a" first. It means simply "there is/are" in the sense of that it exists or is present. For example: "Il y a de grandes montagnes en Autriche" -- "There are big mountains in Austria." "C'est/ce sont" means "it is/they are". In this context "ce" is immutable and will never be "ces". "Ces" is a demonstrative pronoun and belongs to the family "ces, celles, ceux". It always needs a noun and is matched in number and gender to it. Ce ne sont que des enfants -- They are only children. Ces enfants se comportent bien. -- These children behave well. Il y a des pommes fraîches? -- Are there fresh apples? Ce sont des pommes fraîches. -- These are fresh apples. Ces pommes sont fraîches. -- These apples are fresh. Does this make it any clearer? -- Chris (not a native speaker).
Thanks for your help Chris. Rewriting your answer without the discussion of "ces" I get: "il y a" ... means simply "there is/are" in the sense of that it exists or is present. For example: "Il y a de grandes montagnes en Autriche" -- "There are big mountains in Austria." "C'est/ce sont" means "it is/they are"...(and these are).... Ce ne sont que des enfants -- They are only children. Il y a des pommes fraîches? -- Are there fresh apples? Ce sont des pommes fraîches. -- These are fresh apples. So, if I understand correctly: Ce sont des enfants - These/They are children Il y a des enfants - There are children.
Yes, correct. Only "They are children" woukd be "Ils sont des enfants." Otherwise you surmise correctly. -- Chris.
Thank you Cécile and Chris.

Il ya a, c'est and ce sont

Hello, I am having difficulty when to use Il ya a, c'est and ce sont. Is there a resource on Kwiziq that can teach me the right way to use these alternatives?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

How do I know that this is "his" room and not "her" or "their" room?

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer
Bonjour Yvonne !

When you say "Il y a un lit dans sa chambre.", the possessive sa could indeed refer to either "his" or "her" room, as the gender of the possessive adjective is determined by the possession , and not the owner.

Without a clear context, in French there is no way for you to know the gender of the owner from the possessive adjective !

Have a look at our related lessons:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/common-mistakes-with-mon-ma-mes-ton-ta-tes-and-son-sa-ses-possessive-adjectives
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/use-notre-nos-votre-vos-leur-leurs-to-say-our-your-and-their-possessive-adjectives

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

How do I know that this is "his" room and not "her" or "their" room?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

JimA0

A question on pronunciation of "deux" in different situations.

In the video under subject "Ago", in both sentences about the shop "Il y a 2 ans, he pronounces 2 as if it were "douze" (12). I'm not clear on how to distinguish when the last syllable must include the consanent, as in "2 ans".
Asked 2 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Jim,

Pronouncing the consonant at the end of a word when it precedes a vowel, as in deux ans, is known as a liaison. That is the only time deux is pronounced somewhat similarly to douze.

(It's not identical because the vowel is different: deux = [dœz] while douze = [duz]).
JimA0
Merci beacoup. You've answered my question. (Now I just need to develop the ear for that slight difference.)

A question on pronunciation of "deux" in different situations.

In the video under subject "Ago", in both sentences about the shop "Il y a 2 ans, he pronounces 2 as if it were "douze" (12). I'm not clear on how to distinguish when the last syllable must include the consanent, as in "2 ans".

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

are de and des the same when it comes to plural denotation?

for example, is combien de livres Y a-t-il dans votre sac the same as combien des livres Y a-t-til dans votre sac?
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1
Bonjour Patrick, Typically "de" is singular and "des" is plural, After reviewing the lesson, Il y a beaucoup de chats the beaucoup de is a "fixed" expression, if you will meaning a lot of followed by the plural noun chats. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderez. Ron
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Patrick ! In the cases of "combien de, beaucoup de..." , "de" is actually the preposition "of" and as it's not followed by the article "les", it simply doesn't contract in "des". As you know "des" in French can be both the plural of "un/une": un chat / des chats = [some] cats or the contraction of the preposition "de" (of/from) + "les" (the): la mère des enfants = the mother of the children Il vient des États-Unis = He is from the United States I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

are de and des the same when it comes to plural denotation?

for example, is combien de livres Y a-t-il dans votre sac the same as combien des livres Y a-t-til dans votre sac?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Is it valid to say: Tu es monstre! Il y a sans espoir!

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Patrick ! To say "You're *a* monster!", you also need the article in French, which is masculine to agree with "monstre": "Tu es un monstre !" As for "There is no hope", you need to apply the negative "ne pas" to the verb, as such: "Il n'y a pas d'espoir." See in the following lesson why the partitive article (*de l'* espoir = some hope) becomes d' in the negative: Du, de la, de l', des all become de or d' in negative sentences (partitive articles) I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !
thank you for the reply, it helped alot

Is it valid to say: Tu es monstre! Il y a sans espoir!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

when do we use en and du

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Khalida ! Could you please provide a context for your question, and I'll be happy to answer it :)

when do we use en and du

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

when we use "en" ex:il y en a qui exagérent

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Abderrahmane ! This case is tricky as we omit words in both English and French! "Il y EN a qui exagèrent !" = "There are [some] OF THEM who are pushing it!" In French, "en" is used to replace "of them" with quantities, but in this case, we don't express the quantity "some". We should say "Il y en a [certains] qui exagèrent !", but the expression "Il y en a qui" is very idiomatic and colloquial. Here is a link to the lesson on "en" : En with quantities = Of them (adverbial pronoun) I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

when we use "en" ex:il y en a qui exagérent

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

pièces et chambre ??? they have the same meaning o.O

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Rafael ! I changed "in my room" to "in my bedroom" to remove ambiguity. Note however that it's perfectly colloquial for English speakers to refer to their bedroom as "their room" in context. They actually use it more often than "bedroom" :) À bientôt !

pièces et chambre ??? they have the same meaning o.O

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Does 'il y a' change when used in the passe compose? for example to say 'there were' two people.

Asked 2 years ago
Il y avait= there was/there were ....................... ......il y aura = there will be
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Patrick, Yes, "a" is the third person present of avoir, so it changes for other tenses/moods: il y avait, il y a été, il y aura, il y aurait, etc.
Merci Ross et Laura. That was very helpful.

Does 'il y a' change when used in the passe compose? for example to say 'there were' two people.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level >>

Why not share the love?!

Thinking...