Existential Sentence is an especially useful structure in Mandarin. It’s used to express the existence, appearance, or disappearance of someone or something. It is similar to the ‘There be’ grammatical structure in English, though it is not exactly equivalent.
Here in the part 1, we mainly talk about the existence of somebody of something.
Place + 有 + numeral-quantifier phrase + noun
The “place” at the beginning is usually constructed by “noun + locality word.” The preposition “在” cannot be used here. The objects after “有” are usually indefinite.
书包里有一本书。（Shūbāo lǐ yǒu yì běn shū.）There is a book in the schoolbag.
家里有三位客人。(Jiā li yǒusān wèi kèrén.) There are three guests at home.
When the object is a proper noun, there must be “(一)个” before the proper noun.
中国历史上有个秦始皇。(Zhōngguó lìshǐ shàng yǒu gè Qínshǐhuáng.) There is a Qin Shihuang in Chinese history.
英国有个莎士比亚。 (Yīngguó yǒu gè Shāshìbǐyǎ.) There is a Shakespeare in England.
Place + 是 + noun
Note that there is often no real-time indication for this sentence. 是 could be used to describe a singular object existing somewhere, while 有 could indicate multiple objects.
包里是我的钱。(Bāo lǐ shì wǒ de qián.) It’s my money in the bag.
小河旁边是一条大马路。（Xiǎohé pánɡbiān shì yì tiáo dàmǎlù.）Beside the creek, there is a road.
Place + verb + 着 （+ numeral-quantifier phrase）+ noun
Note that in this structure, the verb is usually a stative verb, which isn’t actively expending energy doing anything, but indicates a state.
墙上挂着一件衣服。（Qiánɡshànɡ ɡuàzhe yí jiàn yīfu.）There is a piece of cloth on the wall.
教室里坐着老师和学生。(Jiàoshì lǐ zuòzhe lǎoshī hé xuéshēng.) There are teachers and students sitting in the classroom.
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