In English you use the phrasal verb there+[to be] to mean something different than just an object being placed somewhere visible or known to the speaker and/or listener (i.e., there).
- According to the Cambridge University Dictionary, we use there is and there are when we first refer to the existence or presence of someone or something.
- This dictionary defines there+to be as used to say that something exists or happens
The same happens with Italian c'è and its corresponding plural and other tenses. In Spanish there is even a special "impersonal" conjugation of the verb haber —hay— for that meaning (even when in English one would use the plural form there are). Hay has very little use apart from this meaning, and no other verbs have such impersonal form, that I'm aware.
My gut feeling is that in Latin one should preferably use est, while exsistit and even ecce + esse (possibly elided) could be of some use in certain contexts.
My question is: Could you provide any examples, either Classical or from the Vulgate, that convey something like this meaning of there is in a natural way? I'm interested in both affirmative and interrogative sentences, and if there is any rule of thumb as for what (if anything) makes something different than est (ecce, exsistit) preferable. Any additional grammatical insights and/or partial answers are also welcome.