C’è (there is) and ci sono (there are)

There are two forms of the verb esserci that we use to express the presence of something or someone: c’è (singular) and ci sono (plural).

  • We use c’è (there is) + singular:

C’è un gatto davanti alla porta.

There is a cat in front of the door.

In frigo c’è una torta di cioccolato.

There is a chocolate cake in the refrigerator.

  • We use ci sono (there are) + plural:

Ci sono solo tre studenti in aula.

There are only three students in the classroom.

Nell’armadio ci sono i vestiti.

There are clothes in the closet.

Note: c’è and ci sono can be adapted to any verb tense.

Milioni di anni fa c’erano i dinosauri.

Millions of years ago there were dinosaurs.

Domani ci sarà la festa di Enrico.

Tomorrow there will be Enrico's party.

Note: v'è (there is) and vi sono (there are) are more formal ways of saying c'è and ci sono

Non v'è certezza.

There is no certainty.

Non vi sono speranze.

There is no hope, literally, “there are no hopes”.

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