Questions about word-order inversion, e.g. in negative statements or questions.

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What does “should something happen” mean?

What is the meaning of should loss occur in the following text? Backup and recovery procedures protect your database against data loss and reconstruct the data, should loss occur. The ...
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1answer
84 views

What kind of inversion is this? “Out come the pocket calculators”

Please help me understand the grammar of this sentence: When the girls get their bills, out come the pocket calculators. What connotations does this inversion add? Can "out come" here be ...
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2answers
228 views

Why does this sentence seem to me to have an adverb for a subject? [closed]

At the bottom of the device is a microphone and a microUSB port for data connections and charging (Source) At the bottom of the device is an adverb of place. Why is the subject of the sentence an ...
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1answer
554 views

When can verbs precede subjects?

I saw a sentence in which "is" precedes the subject though the sentence is not interrogative. Here comes the sentence: In fig. 4 is shown [the approach to equilibrium absorbance for a glass ...
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1answer
117 views

Is it always possible to inverse the subject and the verb?

I am wondering whether we can invert the subject and the verb in english. Ex (illustrative only): A car is provided to the players. The keys must be retrieved at the office. would become ...
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2answers
230 views

When to use “compatible”, when “incompatible” [closed]

Reworded as requested. I am confused about when one uses the term “incompatible” and when “compatible”. Is it sometimes believed that compatibility is about “working” and incompatibility about “not ...
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1answer
60 views

“But had events gone another way”(grammar) [duplicate]

The whole sentence is "But had events gone another way, this would be a rather different memoir." Why is the sentence not like "But the events have gone another way"? "Have" and "events" are ...
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4answers
183 views

“With us this morning is Peter” [duplicate]

Is it possible to say in English, "With us this morning is Peter"? What is the Subject in the quoted part of the sentence?
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2answers
306 views

Proper use of “what's”

I've seen people write a sentence like this: Example A: "I'm often asked what's the story behind my work." To me, it just seems that this reads rather poorly. I feel like it should be written as: ...
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2answers
82 views

Question about putting an adverb before a verb

I need to mention here that I red in an educational book that we normally or perhaps always put adjective before a noun. We do not say: A day beautiful, we say: a beautiful day. Wondeting if it is ...
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2answers
54 views

How is a person I've affiliated called?

What's the right terms to define: A person who is an affiliate in a company, who brings to the company other affiliates What are the people he affiliated called in relation to him What is he called ...
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3answers
293 views

What grammar is used in “are there” for not a question & “is a compromise view” without a subject?

I have found 2 sentences in a law book, but I cannot figure out what grammar rules are used in them. Please advise. 1.) In no state, however, are there [what rule, why such order of the words?] ...
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3answers
731 views

use of “is” or “are”

Which is correct? 1.) Attached are our compensation plan, an independent contract agreement, and a W9. or 2.) Attached is our compensation plan, an independent contract agreement, and a W9. I ...
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2answers
281 views

Inversion after “than”/“as”

I'd like to know (1) which of the following is the most natural and (2) whether any of the following is unnatural or ungrammatical: (A) My system is no more expensive than yours would be. (B) My ...
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0answers
45 views

The verb “should” as a conjunction [duplicate]

Here is the phrase from Wikipedia: CFO Peter Klein has said that Microsoft has no alternate plan should its current mobile strategy fail. Another example: Should Microsoft’s tablet and phone ...
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2answers
101 views

Why must “has” come before the main verb here? [duplicate]

Wrong Sentence: Never before in the history of the world such a thing has happened, I don't think that will ever happen again. Right sentence: Never Before in the history of the world has ...
2
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2answers
734 views

Reason for Subject-Verb Inversion: Only in cases where A is B, shall the Company do X [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sentences using: [something] + have + they subject-auxiliary inversions not associated with questions In the following, why does subject-verb inversion occur? Is it ...
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1answer
358 views

Putting a phrase like “in particular” before a negative statement

In a sentence starting with a word like nowhere, inversion is necessary like in the sentence Nowhere in this document is the use of other instruments even mentioned. But what happens if I add a ...
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5answers
343 views

“For dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.”

This quote is from "A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two" By George R.R. Martin. This is the full quote: "They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again ...
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2answers
396 views

“What / who do think…” structure

Here's a list of examples I've seen: What do you think happened? Who do you think has killed him? Who do you think he killed? How does this structure what/who do you think... ...
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3answers
644 views

“Tell me why I should marry you” or “Tell me why should I marry you?”. Which is correct? [duplicate]

I have always followed the former rule, i.e, "Tell me why I should marry you" (without a question mark). But my cousin insists the latter is correct. He seems equally confident that he is correct. So ...
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5answers
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Why put the verb before the subject?

The opening sentence to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien reads, In a hole in the ground there lived [verb] a hobbit [subject]. I wonder if there are accepted stylistic purposes for such a structure. ...
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2answers
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“As I was to learn was the case with so much in Iran, everybody just turned a blind eye.”

I came across a sentence while reading a book and couldn't figure out both the meaning and the structure of it at all. The sentence is: "But, as I was to learn was the case with so much in Iran, ...
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2answers
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Inversion or no inversion after “only”?

Only now you can even get them on top of wrinkles. Only infrequently does it happen. As one of our members has said, inversion happens when a sentence starts with "only" and never ...
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1answer
183 views

Comparing two juxtaposed elements by way of clause inversion?

What is this sort of sentence/style/literary device called? I'm sure it has a name. There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love. It appears that a point is ...
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5answers
684 views

Opposite/inverse of duplicate

What is a word that can function as the inverse of a duplicate question on Stack Exchange? I was looking, in the context of this question on meta, for such a word to distinguish the closed duplicate ...
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2answers
821 views

Inversion with intro adverbial

Looking into inversion, I found a website listing different types of inversion, but I can't understand intro adverbial. The website says that inversions in this case are optional, and gives the ...
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2answers
189 views

About inversion

Given the following sentence, Nowhere on her title page or copyright page is there a suggestion that anyone but Walker wrote her story. Can I invert it as follows without changing the meaning? ...
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0answers
42 views

Why is there no inversion in “Who do you think you are”? [duplicate]

Look at these 2 sentences Who do you think is the richest man ? Who do you think you are ? Try omit "do you think" and we can see the conflict. Because people often ask "Who are you". But with "do ...
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1answer
2k views

Why can we use “inadequate” but not “inspecific”? [duplicate]

I find the use of the word "inspecific" very... natural. It makes sense and flows easily in sentences I speak and write (to myself at least). However, upon inspection, it is apparently not a valid ...
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2answers
612 views

Correctness of questions without inversion, relying on intonation

I hear and read them all the time. I mean stuff like: You're just going to stay here? Instead of: Are you just going to stay here? Then I write like this out of habit and get called out ...
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0answers
437 views

Why does a negative adverbial phrase trigger inversion? [duplicate]

When a negative adverb (or adverbial phrase) is placed at the beginning of a sentence, we exchange the normal placement of subject and verb. Why is that?
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1answer
671 views

'What may it be'/ 'what may be it' which one is correct? [closed]

I think,saying 'what may it be' is correct in the sense of something that i did not see before,it is new to me and on my hand.and i am saying this sentence "what may it be"/"what may be it".which one ...
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1answer
497 views

How to use “extraordinaire” in English?

I’d like to include the following phrase in my children’s book: with trumpets and fanfares extraordinaire I don’t know whether it should instead be with trumpets and fanfares ...
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1answer
980 views

“than do I” vs. “than I do” [duplicate]

I need grammatical explanations for the following two sentence structures: The mistakes children make in learning to speak tell linguists more about how children learn language than do the ...
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3answers
441 views

should one invert syntax for the verb “do” in a comparison?

Which sounds better: When Canadians do initiate conversations, they tend to be more reserved than Americans do. When Canadians do initiate conversations, they tend to be more reserved than do ...
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6answers
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“Sure I am not” — is that valid English?

Consider this conversation: — Iceland has more than 200 rainy days per year. — Are you sure? — No, I am not sure. Is it valid or wrong English to say, — No, sure I am not. ...in the ...
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2answers
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Subject-auxiliary inversions not associated with questions [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Inversion in “only [adverb] have they” Is there some rule governing the following, or similar, subject-auxiliary inversions (*"Rarely they do see the light of day", ...
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2answers
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Inversion in “only [adverb] have they”

I have seen this construction quite often: Online ads have been around since the dawn of the Web, but only in recent years have they become the rapturous life dream of Silicon Valley. What ...
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2answers
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''I don't know what" + direct object [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Changing subject and verb positions in statements and questions Why do we put the verb to be at the end of these questions? Is the expression I don't know what is ...
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1answer
313 views

Where does the verb go on this question? Is it even a reported question?

I understand that when I report a question, I put the subject back in front of the verb, as in: "He asked if she was going to be late." But I always get puzzled when it comes to reporting a question ...
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2answers
5k views

“Where am I?” vs. “Where I am?” [closed]

Which is more correct to say in a question? (For example a guy that wakes up in a train) "Where am I?" or "Where I am?"
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1answer
504 views

Are the subject and complement inverted in “Perched atop a high mountain on the other side […] was a vast castle”?

In this example, are the subject and complement inverted, or could it be possible to understand that ‘The thing’ or something of the subject of verb ‘was’ is dropped? Perched atop a high mountain ...
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2answers
412 views

Can inversion be used without auxiliary verb?

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? I don't like autumn to be honest, neither like I winter that's coming after it. Can inversion be used in this way? Or does it requires auxiliary ...
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2answers
314 views

Is this an inversion? If so, why would you use an inversion in this case?

Here's a quote from a CNN transcript, wherein a consumer psychologist says the following: "What is relatively new are shoppers turning on other shoppers." If "what is relatively new" were the ...
4
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1answer
342 views

“He said, X” vs. “X, he said” vs. “X, said he”

I’ve long wondered how in reported speech, what sort of change in nuance is produced by switching around the normal order of the subject (that is, the speaker) and the “speech-related” verb (such as ...
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2answers
7k views

“Be them” or “be they”? [closed]

Which of the following is grammatical? He had lollies be they red or blue? He had lollies be them red or blue? It seems as if it could be them as an object of be.
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5answers
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“Not once he would” vs. “not once would he”

Not being a native speaker and suffering semantic satiation from overthinking this, I'd like to ask this probably overly simple question. Not once would he... uses reversal for negation and ...
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3answers
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Changing subject and verb positions in statements and questions

We always change subject and verb positions in whenever we want to ask a question such as "What is your name?". But when it comes to statements like the following, which form is correct? I ...
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3answers
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Why do we invert word order when asking a question?

What's the difference between an inverted question and a normal-order question? Why invert? Is there a reason or a benefit? I love you? Do I love you?