Il y a

there is, there are in French

Il y a is an impersonal expression that means both there is and there are.
Il y a un chat sur le canapé.
There is a cat on the sofa.
Il n’y a plus rien dans le frigo.
There is nothing left in the fridge.
Il y a is used in a variety of expressions.
Qu’est-ce qu’il y a?
What’s the matter?
Il n’y a qu’à leur dire.
Just tell them.
Il y avait une fois...
Once upon a time . . .
Il y a cinquante kilomètres d’ici à Paris.
It’s fifty kilometers from here to Paris.
Il y en a qui feraient mieux de se taire.
Some people would do better to keep quiet.