Why You're Using "Il y sera" Wrong

"There Will Be" vs. "He Will Be There"

Sunset over Eiffel tower in Paris
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Learning a language like French is a challenge at times. You will misunderstand things, but you can always learn from them. One common mistake by French students is to use "il y sera" instead of "il y aura" when you want to say "there will be."

Why It's Il y aura and Not Il y sera

What is the correct way to say "there will be" in French?

  • Right: Il y aura
  • Wrong: Il y sera

Why is that? Put simply, it's often a matter of confusing which verb you're actually using.

The French expression il y a means "there is." The actual verb in the French expression is avoir, which literally means "to have." It is not être, meaning "to be." 

When you want to use this expression in another tense or mood, you have to remember to conjugate avoir for that verb form.

  • il y a - there is (present)
  • il y avait - there was (imperfect)
  • il y a eu - there was (passé composé)
  • il y aura - there will be (future)
  • il y aurait - there would be (conditional)

It is not a matter of getting the conjugation wrong because il y sera are the correct future tense form of être. The mistake came while choosing the verb. Because être does mean "to be," this is an understandable error. After all, the word "be" is in "there will be."

When You Will Use Il y sera

While il y sera do not mean "there will be," it does have a meaning in French: "he will be there". Here's a perfect example of where you might use it.

  • Pierre est en France. Il y sera pendant trois mois.
  • Pierre is in France. He will be there for three months.