Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English there, ther, thare, thar, thore, from Old English þēr, þǣr, þār (there; at that place), from Proto-West Germanic *þār, from Proto-Germanic *þar (at that place; there), from Proto-Indo-European *tar- (there), from demonstrative pronominal base *to- (the, that) + adverbial suffix *-r.

Cognate with Scots thar, thair (there), North Frisian dear, deer, där (there), Saterland Frisian deer (there), West Frisian dêr (there), Dutch daar (there), Low German dar (there), German da, dar- (there), Danish der (there), Norwegian der (there), Swedish där (there), Icelandic þar (in that place, there).



there (not comparable)

  1. (location) In a place or location (stated, implied or otherwise indicated) at some distance from the speaker (compare here).
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, Act 5, Scene 1,
      And in a dark and dankish vault at home / There left me and my man, both bound together;
    • 1769, King James Bible, Oxford Standard text, Genesis, 2, viii,
      The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, 1773, James Buchanan (editor), The First Six Books of Milton's Paradise Lost: Rendered into Grammatical Construction, page 381,
      To veil the heav'n, tho' darkneſs there might well / Seem twilight here.
    • 2004, Carlin, George, “IS ANYONE THERE?”, in When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?[1], New York: Hyperion Books, →ISBN, OCLC 757869006, OL 24604921M, page 117:
      (Phone rings)
      MAN: Hello. Philosophy Department.
      CALLER: Is Jack there?
      MAN: Well, what do we mean when we say, "Jack"? Is there really such an entity? Or is Jack simply a description? A label. There are countless people who call themselves Jack. Can they all be doing so accurately? And by the way, where is this "there" you speak of? As I listen to you, I experience your voice as a physical sensation within my head. Certainly Jack isn't in there. Wherever your entity called Jack is, it's probably safe to say that that is where he is. At least for the moment.
  2. (figuratively) In that matter, relation, etc.; at that point, stage, etc., regarded as a distinct place.
    He did not stop there, but continued his speech.
    They patched up their differences, but matters did not end there.
    • 1597 William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 3, 1836, The Works of Shakespeare, Isaac, Tuckey, and Co., page 825,
      The law, that threaten’d death, becomes thy friend / And turns it to exile; there art thou happy.
  3. (location) To or into that place; thither.
  4. (obsolete) Where, there where, in which place.
  5. In existence or in this world; see pronoun section below.
    • 1928 January, Captain Ferdinand Tuohy, "Why Don't We Fly?", in Popular Science, page 144:
      These firms do not want the truth to get out and are financing these flights in the hope of dazzling the public. Yet the record of the gas engine is there for all to see.

Usage notesEdit

  • The use of there instead of they're (meaning they are) or their (possessive form of they) is a common error in English writing.
  • (to or into that place):
    • There is sometimes used by way of exclamation, calling attention to something, especially to something distant; such as in the phrases There, there!, See there and Look there!
    • There is often used as an expletive, and in this use, when it introduces a sentence or clause, the verb precedes its subject.
    • There is much used in composition, and often has the sense of a pronoun. See thereabout, thereafter, therefrom, etc.





  1. Used to offer encouragement or sympathy.
    There, there. Everything is going to turn out all right.
  2. Used to express victory or completion.
    There! That knot should hold.



there (plural theres)

  1. That place.
    • 1937, Gertrude Stein, Everybody's Autobiography, page 289:
      anyway what was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.
    • 1993, Edward S. Casey, Getting back into place: toward a renewed understanding of the place-world, page 54:
      Some of these theres are actual, that is, situated in currently ... Other theres are only virtual
  2. That status; that position.
    You rinse and de-string the green beans; I'll take it from there.




  1. Used as an expletive subject of be in its sense of “exist”, with the semantic, usually indefinite subject being postponed or (occasionally) implied.
    There are two apples on the table. [=Two apples are on the table.]
    There is no way to do it. [=No way to do it exists.]
    Is there an answer? [=Does an answer exist?]
    No, there isn't. [=No, one doesn't exist.]
  2. Used with other intransitive verbs of existence, in the same sense, or with other intransitive verbs, adding a sense of existence.
    If x is a positive number, then there exists [=there is] a positive number y less than x.
    There remain several problems with this approach. [=Several problems remain with this approach.]
    Once upon a time, in a now-forgotten kingdom, there lived a woodsman with his wife. [=There was a woodsman, who lived with his wife.]
    There arose a great wind out of the east. [=There was now a great wind, arising in the east.]
    • 1895, Sabine Baring-Gould, A Book of Nursery Songs and Rhymes: Nursery Songs, XXII: The Tree in the Wood,
      All in a wood there grew a fine tree,
    • 1897, James Baldwin, The Story of Abraham Lincoln: The Kentucky Home, in Four Great Americans,
      Not far from Hodgensville, in Kentucky, there once lived a man whose name was Thomas Lincoln.
    • 1904, Uriel Waldo Cutler, Stories of King Arthur and His Knights, Chapter XXXI: How Sir Launcelot Found the Holy Grail,
      On a night, as he slept, there came a vision unto him, and a voice said, "Launcelot, arise up, and take thine armour, and enter into the first ship that thou shalt find."
  3. Used with other verbs, when raised.
    There seems to be some difficulty with the papers. [=It seems that there is some difficulty with the papers.]
    I expected there to be a simpler solution. [=I expected that there would be a simpler solution.]
    There are beginning to be complications. [=It's beginning to be the case that there are complications.]
  4. (in combination with certain prepositions, no longer productive) That.
    therefor, thereat, thereunder
  5. (colloquial) Appended to words of greeting etc.
    Hi there, young fellow.
    Oh, hello there, Bob, how are you doing?

Usage notesEdit

  • In formal English, the verb agrees with the semantic subject: “there is a tree”, “there are some trees”, “there seems to be a mistake”, “there seem to be some mistakes”, and so on. This is because the "there [form of be]" construction originally used, and could still be said to use, "there" as simply an adverb modifying "to be". However, the syntax is archaic enough that "there" is rarely recognized as an adverb. In colloquial usage, therefore, the verb is often found in the third-person singular form, even when the semantic subject is plural — “there’s some trees”, “there seems to be some mistakes” — but this is often considered incorrect.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



  1. Misspelling of they’re.



  1. Misspelling of their.

Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from the adverb, interjection, noun, or pronoun there

See alsoEdit

Here-, there-, and where- words


  • there at OneLook Dictionary Search


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of þeir