Questions about reversing the order of a clause’s subject and verb, including subject–auxiliary inversion in questions and normal subject–verb swap in locative, directive, copular, and quotative inversions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
3answers
996 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

“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, ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

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 otherwise. So ...
4
votes
5answers
839 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
958 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
213 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? ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
785 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
513 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?
-5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
743 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
590 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
2k views

“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 ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

''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 an ...
5
votes
1answer
475 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
10k 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?"
1
vote
1answer
607 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
503 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
381 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 subject,...
4
votes
1answer
508 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
10k 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.
-1
votes
5answers
2k views

“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 ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

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 don'...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

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?
-1
votes
1answer
320 views

What qualification you are looking for? [closed]

Well this may be a very silly and obvious question but it's bothering me so I am asking it here. I am writing a letter and I asked the question What qualification are you looking for? However my ...
2
votes
2answers
938 views

Position of verb for object clause

Is the general word order of this sentence correct? We investigate how strong the effect of X on Y is. Or, as an alternative, We investigate how strong the effect of X is on Y. In a ...
3
votes
3answers
241 views

A word for being troubled at others' potential schadenfreude against me

Schadenfreude is "enjoyment obtained from the trouble of others." I'm not looking for the antonym of that, but instead if there is a similar word for the object of schadenfreude. For instance, is ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

What is the correct “noun-verb” order when preceded by “only when”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sentences using: [something] + have + they Inversion in “Only when the virus introduces its nucleic acid into a cell does disease occur” In a sentence like this: Only ...
2
votes
2answers
632 views

Not always + inversion? [closed]

My neighbour's little son (they are from UK) asked me for something, saying that he wants it and hence he will get. I realized I do not know how to say that correctly (for the first one I used ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Inversion + past tense

There is a sentence: No sooner had he sat down than he fell asleep. I just do not understand, is this an inversion? And if so, I still do not understand the sentence.
20
votes
6answers
41k views

Why do you say “so do I”?

Why is the order of the words in "so do I" or "nor do I" different from the normal order?
2
votes
0answers
38 views

No and double inversion within question tags [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to reply to question tags I'm a Dutch native speaker so forgive my English mistakes (that's why I am here). In Dutch it is normal to have a following example ...
3
votes
2answers
303 views

Why was inversion used in the following context?

There are many such problems for which a greedy approach provides an optimal solution much more quickly than would a dynamic-programming approach. This is from Page 321, Introduction to ...
1
vote
1answer
253 views

How should I understand this inversion?

I'm confused with the following sentence: In this section, we look at how the shuffle works, as a basic understanding would be helpful, should you need to optimize a Map-Reduce program. How do ...
5
votes
3answers
470 views

Is “supply” the inverse of “apply”?

We can say "The add function is applied to values 1 and 2". Can we say equivalently "The values 1 and 2 are supplied to the add function"?
6
votes
1answer
809 views

Inversion in English

Is it correct to invert the subordinate sentence in English? For instance: When the time comes, so shall we reign the land! If it is correct, what is the rule? Or is it only in old English?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I determine subject and subject complement in “A side-effect is the spread of commercialese to other domains.”?

Consider this example: Commercialese is an instrument of art, designed to enrich and invigorate our language—surely you will all agree with this—, and we should encourage newcomers to learn ...