In the above example, instead of 11 words, only 8 were used in the rewrite! The subject is now more obvious: it’s clearly “you.”
With fewer words and tighter writing, the reader gets to the point faster and more precisely so the reader doesn’t have to think too much. That’s a bonus if the reader is tackling a long piece of writing, which is perhaps a complex topic. Complicated topics don't need hard-to-follow writing; that's annoying and turns people off. It’s also a bonus if you’re writing for the web where you only have a fraction of someone’s attention because they are skimming and multitasking while online.
Rather than start sentences with "there is," "there are," "there was" or "there were," find the real subject and rewrite.
TIP #1: Attempt to use "there" for geographical references only.
Speaking of skimming, this tip just skims the surface of the use of “there” at the beginning of sentences. My upcoming e-course will go deeper and will offer examples and exercises for writers who want to make their writing tighter, clearer, stronger and who want their writing to have more impact. A handful of writing tips goes a long way!
If this topic intrigues you and you'd like to understand the grammar involved, Grammar Girl does a fantastic job of explaining the use of "there."
Meet the Editor
I'm Coreen, and I am a copy editor, writer, instructor, digital marketer, and student of PR and Communications for organizations doing positive work in the world.