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    #1

    There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.

    1. There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.
    2. There is a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.
    https://www.englishforums.com/Englis...hwvvp/post.htm
    What about the acceptability of the above sentences?
    Last edited by sitifan; 17-Nov-2016 at 03:06.
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #2

    Re: There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.

    I find them both less than optimal. When faced with this kind of issue, the best strategy is to re-write the sentence to avoid the awkwardness.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.

    2 is just about acceptable to me.

    Also 'There are two zebras and a small kangaroo near the river'.

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    #4

    Re: There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    2 is just about acceptable to me.

    Also 'There are two zebras and a small kangaroo near the river'.
    What does just about mean?
    Is #1 acceptable to you?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #5

    Re: There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    What does just about mean? It means 'barely'.
    Is #1 acceptable to you? No.
    .

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    #6

    Re: There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.

    Normally, the verb agrees with its nearest complement.

    'There is an apple and three pears in the fruit bowl.'

    'On the desk were three pens and a pencil.'

    'In my pocket there is a key and a few coins.'

    However, this does not apply when the sentence is inverted, and the complements become the subjects:

    'Two dogs and a cat were in the kitchen.'

    Rover

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    #7

    Re: There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.

    I prefer #2 to #1 because a singular noun next to a plural verb grates on my ear. I think it's a case where euphony trumps mathematics. Others may feel differently- it's not a settled issue.

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    #8

    Re: There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.

    Rover's version in post 3 solves all the problems for me.

  9. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #9

    Re: There are a small kangaroo and two zebras near the river.

    Rover's version is grammatical and pleases the ear.

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