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I'm having trouble constructing a sentence. Which sounds more natural (and which is plainly wrong):

1) There wasn’t among angels, humans, gods, or any species a creature more beautiful than her.

2) There was neither among angels, humans, gods, or any species a creature more beautiful than her.

I think both are grammatically correct, but I'm not sure. Any help is appreciated.

  • The second needs another negative sentence before it to license it. I'd expect 'she' rather than 'her', the writing style is so old. But they're unidiomatic nowadays. – Edwin Ashworth May 7 at 14:32
  • "There" is not literarily striking. No angel, human, god or animal was more beautiful than she. – Lambie May 7 at 17:10
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To me, the problem with the specific construction in the example sentence is the lack of the definite article:

✘ I am the tallest in group.
✔ I am the tallest in the group.

So, idiomatically, I'm far more used to hearing something like this:

There wasn't among the angels, humans, gods, or any species a creature more beautiful than her.

The article is necessary because you're talking about a specific group of beings.


Less significant is that the use of any species in the list causes a slight break in parallelism. Although the addition of the definite article in front of the list helps it sound idiomatic at an overall level, a further tweak (while not nearly as obvious) would also help:

There wasn't among the angels, humans, gods, or any other species a creature more beautiful than her.

Without using other, all of the list items that precede any species become redundant. If it really is any species, then enumerating some specific ones in such a construction is not needed when you could just say this:

There wasn't among any species a creature more beautiful than her.


Combining those two things we end up with this:

There wasn't among the angels, humans, gods, or any other species a creature more beautiful than her.

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