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

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Something/Someone is (not) there

My (Italian) students tend to produce sentences like: When I arrived, there weren't my parents (as opposed to 'my parents were not there') I cannot think of a grammar rule to provide an explanation. ...
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2answers
6k views

Inversion in “Only when the virus introduces its nucleic acid into a cell does disease occur”

Given this sentence, Disease occurs only when the virus introduces its nucleic acid into a cell. Is the following inversion grammatical? → Only when the virus introduces its nucleic acid ...
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1answer
73 views

See? How fun this game is!

I'm not a native speaker, and I need help with the proper usage of exclamatives in some contexts. [Context1: John is playing a video game alone, and is enjoying it. He utters:] 1. How fun this game ...
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1answer
39 views

3rd conditional + inversion

So I know that the following sentence is correct: "Had I known about that, I wouldn't have talked to her." However is this one correct too? "I wouldn't have talked to her had I known about that." ...
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3answers
274 views

Inversion or fronting with “so”

Sentences such as: So says the preacher. So began the fight. Are they an example of inversion? I searched around, but all I could find was that the inversions with so can happen with only ...
2
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1answer
60 views

What is the term for a phrase like “school it is”?

I heard this kind of expression in conversation: 1) A.- You should go to school and learn. B.- All right, school it is. 2) A.- Open the window unless there is better idea. B.- (no ...
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4answers
178 views

Quick subject question [duplicate]

Sorry for the dumb question, but can someone please explain the subject and verb in this sentence? "There is a house in new orleans whose veranda is lined with satin"
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2answers
1k views

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
47 views

Usage of “you should”

I found this message at a game. Players should know that Klei is not able to help you should issues arise while using mods. What is this you should ? I can understand it with replacing should ...
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1answer
13k views

Question tags — “did you” vs. “didn't you”

Typically, when we ask for confirmation/denial of a statement, we say something like the following: We turn left here, don't we? You have a cat, don't you? We've met before, haven't we? ...
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2answers
66 views

Why was the subject and verb inverted in a declarative sentence?

Preface: I ask only about the syntax and not semantics; I comprehend the meaning behind the following quote (for a paraphrase in 20C English; see p 27 of 35), but I am inexperienced with Early Modern ...
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6answers
7k 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. ...
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3answers
68 views

Subjunctive Mood in Second Conditional - Inversion

The sentence If I were you, I wouldn't do this One can add emphasis to the sentence, by saying Were I you, I wouldn't do this However, I noticed that in everyday English people tend not ...
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1answer
572 views

“What have we here?” vs. “What do we have here?” [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 ...
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3answers
40 views

Verb inversion with possessive pronoun + interrogative

Is it yours? vs It is yours? Can #2 ever be appropriate? Does it exist to facilitate placing emphasis on the personal pronoun?
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3answers
119 views

Not only “do trees provide” shade and beauty, but they also reduce carbon dioxide

Is this sentence: Not only do trees provide shade and beauty, but they also reduce carbon dioxide. as same as this one? Trees not only provide shade and beauty, but also reduce carbon ...
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1answer
199 views

Better sentence structure - Inversion sentence with should

My original sentence is: Should the doctrine of democracy be proved to be an important and effective mean to control the government, it should not be reformed insofar as the effect of which is to ...
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1answer
55 views

Is there a name for these sorts of paradoxical inversions?

They most often come as advice on how to solve problems that seem the reverse of what would be expected: In order to think of a solution you must stop thinking about the problem. In order ...
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6answers
661 views

What's the Subject in: 'And up here in the corner is me'

If two people are looking at a photo, and one of them pointing out the different people says: And up here in the corner is me. ... what is the Subject of the sentence? The phrase up here in ...
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1answer
215 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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4answers
264 views

What are needed <is/are> managers with new ideas and the will to apply them

According to the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston and Pullum (page 505), the following sentence is grammatical with either "is" or "are" as the verb of the main clause: What ...
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12answers
4k views

What's the term for not just being wrong, but the exact opposite of right?

I'd like to concisely (ideally, in one word) express my opinion that the styling on the Removed permissions and Added permissions text in the picture below is not just wrong, but the exact opposite of ...
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1answer
142 views

Conditional sentence without conditional conjunctions, is that possible?

Sometimes I hear sentences that sound conditional to me, just because of the (unassertive) ordering of the words. I don't know if I can come up with a proper example. Consider this: I'd be a ...
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0answers
67 views

What is the rule for using inversion with “as”?

As far as I know, we can use either inversion or normal sentence order with "as" when we are talking about things or people in the "as clause" that are different from those we are mentioning in the ...
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2answers
207 views

Syntax of “What proof have we?”

I'm a German and our English teacher always told us not to use the German syntax in English. So here are a few examples to illustrate : "What means this word?" -> correct : "What does that word ...
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1answer
315 views

Are these claims of Sheldon's valid?

In episode s08e16 (The Intimacy Acceleration) of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon made these statements: Look, you may not be as academically inclined as are we. Yes, that’s how you say it. ...
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1answer
64 views

Why is the “were” placed ahead? [duplicate]

Loosely speaking, the mode is the highest bump, the median is where half the area is to the right and half is to the left, and the mean is where the histogram would balance, were it a solid object cut ...
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2answers
105 views

Are these subject-dependent inversions?

Consider these sentences: Be it ever so humble,... Hallowed be your name. I think these two have similar structure whose elements are merely arranged differently; why I think so is they can also ...
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2answers
926 views

The use of "were- should- had” at the beginning of sentences instead of “if”

Conditionals in English are usually formed by using if with normal word order; but for the three past (subjunctive) forms were, should, and had, it is also possible to express the conditional through ...
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2answers
573 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 ...
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6answers
5k 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 ...
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2answers
90 views

“Not only … but also” —parallelism in a particular case

I have been looking around to find an answer to my question, but I was unable to find one that addressed my specific problem. I want to create the following sentence, but I'm not sure whether it's ...
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2answers
84 views

Can “did you…” be conditional?

Let me know, should you come. Like the one above, I've seen many sentences that had inverted conditionals which started with should, were, and had--but not with could, did, or have. So I wonder if ...
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1answer
410 views

When can I use “Only do …” vs. when must I use “Only …” without the “do”?

I'm writing a scientific paper and my supervisor (who is non-native speaker, whereas I am a native speaker) asked me to change this construct: Only do males have a y chromosome. to Only ...
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1answer
88 views

“I'm not sure what's true love” vs. “I'm not sure what true love is”

Are all these sentences grammatically correct? Which ones are more common? "I'm not sure what's true love" vs. "I'm not sure what true love is" "I don't know who's your brother" vs. "I don't know ...
2
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1answer
149 views

Inverse of dependency

In a project management context where A and B would be tasks, if A needs B, then B is a dependency of A. Is there a word to describe what A is to B? As @KateGregory put it, I want to replace "we need ...
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1answer
2k views

“There is the man.” Is *there* an adverb or pronoun?

According to Dictionary.com there adverb in or at that place (opposed to here ): She is there now. pronoun (used to introduce a sentence or clause in which ...
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2answers
50 views

relative pronoun usage: “…, not in which …”?

There's the room; not in the room is the man. I want to replace the semicolon with a comma and make the second sentence a relative clause. Is it okay to change it as: There's the ...
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3answers
123 views

Negative form of “Here comes the guy” [closed]

Consider the sentence: Here comes the guy. What would be the best negative form of this sentence--not normal negative like "The guy doesn't come here", but both inverted and negative? One ...
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3answers
168 views

Use of Inversion : Adverbial phrase

I'm from Korea, a non-English speaking country. I recently had my mid-term on English. In the test, there was a question asking us to put words in order and make them into a full sentence. The ...
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3answers
360 views

“Here he comes”, “Here comes he” : The order of pronoun and verb in inversion

It's very common to say: "Here he comes." "Here comes the man." But what about: "Here comes he." "Here the man comes." Is there a rule about the order of noun and verb in ...
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2answers
71 views

Is it wrong: “in which is the man”?

In the room is the man, This is grammatically correct, no doubt . "In the room" works as adverb clause and the verb and subject are inverted. In the normal way, it's written as In the room, ...
2
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1answer
97 views

Does an inverted protasis mean just plain “if”, or does it mean “even if”?

When the first part of a conditional’s if-clause is inverted and the if consequently dropped, is the missing if just a plain old “simple if”, or is it more of an “even if”? For example, in this ...
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2answers
427 views

What is the function of “do” in the following sentence? [duplicate]

Only by being forced to defend an idea against the doubts and contrasting views of others does one really discover the value of that idea. What is the function of "does" in that sentence?
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4answers
2k views

“Let's see how can we do this”?

I'm reading the C++ boost library and the following sentence drew my attention: Once the two steps have been successfully completed, the process can start writing to and reading from the address ...
3
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2answers
334 views

If/should… INVERSION FORM

Sentence: Don't worry, I've bought an extra ticket for the show should you decide to come at the last minute. In this sentence, is 'if you decided' also right (instead of 'should you decide', ...
0
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4answers
7k views

“Can you tell me where is the bank?” or “where the bank is.” [duplicate]

Can you tell me which of the following sentences is grammatical? "Could you tell me where the bank is, please?" "Could you tell me where is the bank, please?" And please, explain why. Thank you in ...
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1answer
90 views

No inversion in questions in headlines and titles

Why do many titles and headlines read: "Why Europe should become...", NOT "Why should Europe become..."; "How an inventor lost...", NOT "How did an inventor lose..."; "How the photocopier changed...", ...
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1answer
413 views

“What is/are new here is/are …”

Original sentence: "What are new here are (1) XYZ and (2) PDQ." Correcting this sentence in a text and it just feels wrong. In order to make sure I change it correctly, I tried searching for: The ...
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1answer
68 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 ...