Grammar

Pronouns: es

es used as a personal pronoun

The pronoun es is usually used to replace a neuter noun:

Wo ist das Buch? – Es ist in der Tasche. (es = das Buch)

 

es as the formal subject with impersonal verbs

There are other functions that es can have. Sometimes es does not stand in for a definite noun but takes the role of the subject without having a meaning of its own. This construction is often used in impersonal phrases in which there is no other subject.

Examples of this are sentences or clauses that describe weather phenomena:

Es regnet.
Es schneit.
Es ist sonnig.
Es ist bewölkt.
Es ist neblig.

Here, es stands for a situation or state to which no concrete subject can be attributed.

Grammar