"There is a spruce and six squirrels over here."
Translation:Täällä on kuusi ja kuusi oravaa.
Why is this not Täällä ovat? Even treating the six squirrels as a single group, the sentence is talking about at least two objects, the spruce and the group of squirrels.
This is not the first time I've been confused by the use of on where I would have assumed ovat was more appropriate. An explanation would be much appreciated.
If Finnish and English are similar in this kind of construction (a singular verb being used with a "[thing] and [thing]" group, that that's a useful way of remembering that "on" is okay, but that doesn't explain why "ovat" is wrong. "There are a spruce and six squirrels over here" is just as valid in English, and it means exactly the same thing as if the verb were "is".
Why couldn't I say "tässä" in stead of "täällä"? Is that a different "over here"?
Täällä = over here, tuolla = over there The way you can remember it is that tämä is this and tuo is that. "This place" is "here" and "that place" is "there".
The word order has to do with the "completeness" of the things the sentence is about. It's introduced here. (They use minulla, sinulla, etc. instead of täällä, but the idea is the same.) https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fi/pets_1/tips-and-notes
Täällä on kuusi = There is a spruce over here. (A spruce we weren't already talking about before is less "complete.")
Kuusi on täällä = The spruce is over here. (The specific spruce we have talked about before is more "complete.")