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Hello

There were two dogs in the kennel.

Two dogs were there in the kennel.

--- Do we use inversion in the 2nd example because the sentence begins with a subject?
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Newguest
There were two dogs in the kennel.

Two dogs were there in the kennel.

--- Do we use inversion in the 2nd example because the sentence begins with a subject?

Hi Newguest

Firstly, both are perfectly acceptable sentences, but they have slightly different meanings because of the function of there, as I'll try to explain.

It's difficult to see this as a case of inversion because your first example is of an existential sentence, which complicates matters.

The 'existential' there may appear in the subject position at the beginning of that sentence, but it is a 'dummy' subject with no real meaning.

In the second example, I don't see there as the inverted subject, but an adverbial. The subject is two dogs and the verb is were, with the adverb there adding emphasis to the location of the dogs (you might imagine the speaker pointing to the empty kennel as he said it)

Importantly, the use of existential there is totally different from there used as an adverbial of place, as can be seen from this sentence:

There is a sheep over there.

Does that help?

BillJ
Comments  
The second sentence isn't correct English.

CB
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What about: "Ten students were there" Is it correct now?

Do we use inversion "were there" (instead of "there were") because the sentence begins with a subject?
NewguestWhat about: "Ten students were there" Is it correct now?
No, you have to say: There were ten students.

CB
 BillJ's reply was promoted to an answer.
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Hi

If "there" is only an adverbial and it has nothing to do with inversion then I understand it.

Is it the same with this sentence: How many people were there at your party?

Thanks guys.
NewguestHello

There were two dogs in the kennel.

Two dogs were there in the kennel.

--- Do we use inversion in the 2nd example because the sentence begins with a subject?

There is no inversion here. You have two different "there"s.

Two dogs [existed / were located / were to be found] in the kennel.
Two dogs were [in that place] (, namely,) in the kennel.

Also,

There were two dogs there in the kennel.
= Two dogs were to be found in that place, namely, in the kennel.

CJ
NewguestHi

If "there" is only an adverbial and it has nothing to do with inversion then I understand it.

Is it the same with this sentence: How many people were there at your party?

Hi

Yes to both points.

BillJ
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OK, thanks. I think I got it.