IL Y A
Il y a is a very useful expression in French. It means there is/there areThis expression is formed of: subject pronoun il + pronoun y + verb avoir (to have) in the third person singular.
Where in English, this expression uses the verb to be and changes from singular to plural according to what follows, in French, we use the verb avoir (to have) in the third person singular, regardless of what follows.
IL Y A IN THE PAST OR FUTURE
This expression can also be used in the past or in the future:
*please note how ‘il y a’ is often used to describe the weather : Il y a du vent (it is windy), il y a du soleil (it is sunny), il y a du brouillard (it is foggy).
IL Y A IN THE NEGATIVE FORM
Now, let’s put this expression in the negative form, using the same examples we saw earlier:
As you can see, we use n’ instead of ne because y is a vowel. n’ always comes before y in this structure. Also, the indefinite article une/un/des is replaced with de.
IL Y A WHEN REFERRING TO A PERIOD OF TIME IN THE PAST
Il y a can be used to refer to a period of time in the past. In English, it would be translated by “ago”.