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Shouldn’t grammatical subject ‘there’ always have a singular verb because a grammatical subject agrees to verb?

For example, ‘there is two pens in the desk’

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“There is/are” is a special (but common) grammatical construction where “there” is a dummy (grammatical) subject; the real (logical) subject follows the verb.

In your example, the real subject is “two pens”, so you must use “There are”.

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