Esserci (there is, there are) in the various verb tenses

Reminder: we use c’è (there is) with singular nouns and ci sono (there are) with plural nouns,

C'è un treno in stazione.

There is a train at the station.

Ci sono i tuoi amici a casa.

Your friends are at home (literally, “there are your friends at home”).

Here's how we conjugate esserci in the various tenses:

  • Passato prossimo (perfect tense): c'è stato/a (there was) in the singular; ci sono stati/e (there were) in the plural.

Ieri ci sono stati i fuochi d'artificio in spiaggia. 

Yesterday there were fireworks on the beach.

  • Imperfect: c'era (there was) in the singular; c'erano (there were) in the plural.

L'anno scorso c'erano tanti clienti all'Hotel Baldoria.

Last year there were lots of clients at the Hotel Baldoria.

  • Future: ci sarà (there will be) in the singular; ci saranno (there will be) in the plural.

Quest'anno in vacanza, ci sarà tutta la famiglia.

This year, the whole family will be on vacation together (literally, “this year on vacation there will be the whole family”).

  • Conditional: ci sarebbe (there would be) in the singular; ci sarebbero (there would be) in the plural.

Se voleste venire, ci sarebbe posto anche per voi. 

If you wanted to come, there would be room for you too.

  • Subjunctive: ci sia (there is) in the singular; ci siano (there are) in the plural.

Penso che ci siano molti gatti in hotel.

I think there are a lot of cats at the hotel.

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