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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
135 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
30 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
67 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
451 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
260 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
200 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
54 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
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
49 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
41 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
72 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
134 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
97 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
42 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
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
216 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?
0
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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
votes
2answers
130 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
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
70 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...", ...
0
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
44 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
317 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
38 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
710 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
528 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
2k 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
2k 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
555 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
59 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
380 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
159 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
92 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
1k 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
386 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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
207 views

Inversion in Wh-questions [duplicate]

What is difference between: Why I am studying? Why am I studying?
1
vote
1answer
230 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
111 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
96 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
3answers
120 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
163 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
1k 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
188 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
82 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 ...