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

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24
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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 ...
17
votes
6answers
19k 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?
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
798 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.
6
votes
1answer
667 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?
5
votes
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. ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
846 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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?
4
votes
3answers
297 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"?
4
votes
5answers
482 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
1answer
200 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
361 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
113 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?] ...
4
votes
2answers
220 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
198 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
178 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
294 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
490 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
665 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
213 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
250 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
2answers
527 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
486 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
289 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
119 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
2answers
136 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? ...
2
votes
2answers
43 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
5answers
151 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
148 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
1answer
341 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
1answer
91 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
280 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
37 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
1answer
207 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
37 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
232 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?
1
vote
0answers
37 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
26 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: ...
0
votes
2answers
2k 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?"
0
votes
2answers
288 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
41 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
51 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
32 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 ...