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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
42 views

Which is the correct sentence? [closed]

Could someone explain which structure is correct and if it's okay to say the other one? Oh, what have we here? Oh, what do we have here? Can we simply invert the subject and the verb to ...
1
vote
2answers
325 views

Inverted conditional sentence using 'can' and 'will'

On this page in Wikipedia!, it states for first conditional sentences: The condition can also be expressed using the modal verb should. This form can be used to make an inverted condition ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Inversions acceptable in conversations?

I've seen a lot of inversions in many daily conversations. As it occurs to me that using inversions would make the sentence confusing, I assume that using them is not that appropriate in spoken ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Use of “did” in an affirmative sentence before subject [duplicate]

I wrote the following sentence in an article: Only in June it created repositories. The editor corrected me: Only in June did it create repositories. What's the explanation for "did" in ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

V-S inversion: Gets my daughter a present [closed]

Recently got curious about V-S inversion. Heard and saw some of them from the lyrics of songs, daily conversations, et cetera, I want to know how it works. As inversion is generally used in writings, ...
1
vote
3answers
579 views

Subject-verb inversion / verb-subject-object — is this correct?

I recently read the following in a schoolbook: Wrote the researchers, "[...]" I wonder if this is correct English. I have seen it a couple of more times. Is this just a matter of preference? ...
3
votes
4answers
227 views

Omitting whether (if): Not sure if we can do this

I'm not sure if(or, whether) we can do it. Can this sentence be written in this way... I'm not sure can we do it. Can whether, or if, be omitted like that and still be understandable? Thanks.
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Till death do WE part [closed]

I understand the meaning of "till death do us part". I even understood why do is not does. However, in the song Love Spent by Madonna, the following lyrics occur: You played with my heart Till ...
-1
votes
2answers
180 views

Word order: “Tell me what is your opinion on this matter” or “Tell me what your opinion on this matter is” [duplicate]

Tell me what is your opinion on this matter. Tell me what your opinion on this matter is. Which one is correct? I understand the word order in the sentence like I want to know where she is. But ...
3
votes
2answers
249 views

Inversion by “only” in a passive sentence

I have searched for the grammar concerning inversion in passive voice, and my search was fruitless. I was wondering how to put "only" at the beginning of a passive sentence. For example: Only the ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Is this an inversion? To V should S be . .

As always, while reading through I found a sentence whose structure confused me. What I want to know is whether the first sentence is the inversion form of the second sentence. 1. If the reason ...
-1
votes
1answer
70 views

I care not (for these things) vs. I don't care

Is the expression "I care not" grammatically correct? Do I care not and I don't care have the same meaning?
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Word order in question with very long subject

The normal word order for a wh- question in English is: wh- + auxiliary + subject + verb. Hence the sentence below should be correct: What might the consequences of the loss of diversity of plant ...
0
votes
3answers
71 views

Can we say “admitted to the mistakes”?

Can we say "admitted to the mistakes"? I think it should be admitted the mistakes and admitted to the hospital. The sentence that I am working on is it has not admitted to the mistakes in the ...
3
votes
1answer
843 views

Inversion with “many times” at the beginning of a sentence

I am having a discussion with my friend. I said, "Many times I have seen him washing his car." He says it should be, "Many times have I seen him washing his car. Much like "Often do I see him", and ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

“Why does he not?” or “Why does not he?” and why? [duplicate]

Which is the more correct form: Why does he not? Why does not he? and why? At first blush 1 would seem to be grammatical - just on an intuitive judgement. However 2 logically seems as ...
4
votes
4answers
940 views

Why do some questions not start with an auxiliary verb?

When I learned English, my teachers told me that all questions must have an auxiliary verb at the beginning, just like Are you mad? or Is she playing? do. But when watching some movies or talking ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Inversion in Wh-questions [duplicate]

What is difference between: Why I am studying? Why am I studying?
1
vote
1answer
148 views

A literary term meaning reversed repetition?

A quote from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss lists "actors and acrobats, musicians and hand magicians, jugglers and jesters" My first thought on reading it was that "hand magicians and ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Verb to be before pronoun in declarative sentences [duplicate]

I saw this sentence in a newspaper cartoon: Not only are you dysfunctional — you appear to be completely spineless as well. Is the verb are in the right position?
3
votes
1answer
81 views

Fronted adjuncts

Is it correct to begin sentences with adjuncts? To which degree are the sentences below acceptable? Do you need a special context to license this word order, or can you start a text with these ...
-1
votes
1answer
59 views

«Said I» vs «I said»

Are «said I» and «I said» interchangeable? «Said I» is pretty uncommon, or so I thought. The sentence in question looks like so: «"It's not going to be your way," — said I.» Or it could be «"It's not ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

What does “Had X not Y” mean? [duplicate]

In this sentence, It should have, had the umpire not been intimidated by the reputation of the man who had come in to bat why "had" is being used here? what is its meaning in the above context? ...
0
votes
3answers
75 views

Mandatory to NOT something [closed]

I'm looking for some type of inverse of "mandatory to not", as in "mandatory to not have any errors in your exam" or "mandatory to not read foreign words in the book." (Those must sound awful to a ...
3
votes
3answers
153 views

“there was” versus “was”

In a Lynda.com tutorial I came across such a sentence: "In camera uploads (folder) are all the photos that I had in my iPad". Instead, I would have probably said: "In camera uploads there are ...." Is ...
3
votes
2answers
872 views

What does “would not have been possible had I remained” mean?

What does this mean? I am sure this would not have been possible had I remained a typical Anglophone North American. I have never heard that before and I really find it strange. I deduce that ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

Reported speech, question in a conditional sentence

I've been struggling with this exercise: "Let's drive on to the next village and try the hotel there," he said. "But what'll we do if that's full too?" I said. "We'll just have to sleep in the car," ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
350 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
151 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
122 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?
2
votes
2answers
168 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: ...
0
votes
2answers
62 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
39 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
230 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?] ...
1
vote
3answers
714 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
169 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
3k views

How is “Can anyone tell me how can I solve this” wrong?

I posted a question somewhere that said... Can anyone tell me how I can solve this? ...but someone edited it to... Can anyone tell me how can I solve this? ...and it was accepted. That's ...
1
vote
0answers
42 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
85 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
votes
2answers
635 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
175 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
266 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
235 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... ...
2
votes
3answers
520 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

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. ...