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

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146 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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1answer
70 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 ...
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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?
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1answer
44 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 ...
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1answer
45 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 ...
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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? ...
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3answers
58 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 ...
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3answers
143 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 ...
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2answers
189 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 ...
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1answer
97 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," ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
59 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
128 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
124 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
53 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
100 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
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1answer
37 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
97 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
75 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
50 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
36 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
172 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
531 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
106 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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2answers
445 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? ...
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6answers
2k 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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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 ...
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2answers
67 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 ...
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2answers
559 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
82 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
221 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
152 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
359 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
2k 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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2answers
56 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, ...
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2answers
522 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 ...
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1answer
119 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
534 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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1answer
602 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 ...
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2answers
495 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
154 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
38 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
893 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
353 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
264 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
312 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
237 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
439 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
297 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
802 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 ...