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38

You could say these were antithetical to or the antithesis of the correct thing, meaning that whatever the right thing is, what you see is diametrically opposed to that: antithesis n 2. the direct opposite (usually followed by of or to): Her behavior was the very antithesis of cowardly. Source: dictionary.reference.com In your case, you might say ...


33

You could say "That answer is the "polar opposite" of what I'm looking for!"


32

You were right and your editor was wrong. Your question was Can anyone tell me X? and you properly expressed X as a free relative clause, which always acts as a nominal constituent. You asked, in effect, if anyone could tell you an answer. Your editor inverted the auxiliary verb and the subject of the free relative clause, transforming it into a ...


17

They do start with an auxiliary verb, but since it's predictable, it's often omitted. These are examples of what's called Conversational Deletion in the literature. The link has references and further examples.


17

backwards '3. in the reverse of usual order or direction1 '2. Done or arranged in a manner or order that is opposite to previous occurrence or normal use.2 The styles used for the Removed and Added permission labels are backwards. 1 Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003 ...


13

I can think of several valid examples of questions that neither start with an auxiliary verb, nor have been pruned through conversational deletion: Come again? [Idiomatic question construction meaning "Please repeat whatever it was you just said", or sometimes merely expressing disbelief] In what way? [Seeking some kind of clarification] By ...


13

Despite the superficial similarity between "Till death do us part" and "Till death do we part", I believe that the structures of these lines are quite different. In this kind of poetic construction word order is typically thrown out of the window in order (haha!) to achieve a more pleasing metre or rhyme. This means that we need to look harder at the words ...


13

I posted a question somewhere that said: 1.) Can anyone tell me how I can solve this? but someone edited it to: 2.) Can anyone tell me how can I solve this? and it was accepted. That's wrong isn't it? Can someone explain how that's wrong? The difference between the two versions is that the subordinate interrogative ...


13

With respect to information structure, this word order pattern seems to be equal to fronted adverbials, as in: Into the room walked a man The new information / focus follows the finite verb. Similarly, in "So do I", "so" refers to the proposition in the previous utterance, "do" is a dummy verb, and "I", the new information, comes last.


12

Embedded questions normally don't allow Subject-Auxiliary inversion, though it's required for normal questions: How can we do this? (Aux can and Su we are inverted) *How we can do this? (No inversion; ungrammatical) However, in spoken English (which is similar to the chatty, informal style used in many computer books), an embedded question complement ...


12

Switching around the normal word order is called inversion, and this specific type is called subject-auxiliary inversion. Wikipedia has a list of usages of subject-auxiliary inversion, including interrogative constructions (e.g. Did you eat?), but the following is the declarative section: Declarative sentences with negative elements (i.e. never or not) ...


11

You are right. The correct sentence would be Now let's see how we can do this. The incorrect form you've read demonstrates a fairly common English mistake among non-native speakers, especially those whose native language allows for omission of the subject pronoun (such as the Romance languages). The confusion arises from three points: In a question, ...


11

Neither of your two questions makes sense as written, and I do not know what the intent is. For one thing, I don’t understand why they are questions; they do not look like such to me. For another, the formulaic “be they X or Y ”, using present subjunctive and inversion as it does, is of a somewhat elevated register which may not be appropriate for all ...


10

It's grammatical. Subject-verb inversion is required when preposing a negative adverbial of time, place, or circumstance. At no time did he say that. ~ *At no time he said that. Under no circumstances may she enter. ~ *Under no circumstances she may enter. It is not allowed, however, when preposing other adverbials. *With no hesitation did he speak ...


9

"Dead wrong" seems like an appropriate modifier to "wrong" to emphasize your point.


8

Diametrically opposed, where diametric in particular, as per dictionary.com: adjective: of, relating to, or along a diameter. . in direct opposition; being at opposite extremes; complete: diametrical opposites; a diametrical difference.


8

All three versions occur, though they don't falute the same. (c) is the canonic source, with simple Wh-fronting, leaving is at the end of the sentence: does anyone know [the task for the afternoon is what]? ==> does anyone know [what the task for the afternoon is]? (b) is a further variation on (c), with the prepositional phrase for the ...


8

To agree with a positive statement: We use so + auxiliary/modal verb + pronoun: "I like tea without sugar.' 'So do I.' To agree with a negative statement: We use nor/neither + auxiliary/modal verb + pronoun: "I don't like tea with sugar.' 'Nor do I.' or 'Neither do I.' To disagree with a positive statement: We use pronoun + auxiliary/modal verb + not ...


8

If “Till death do us part” sounds a trifle odd to the 21st-century ear that is because it is an Early Modern English phrase, from the Form for the Solemnization of Matrimony in the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer. The original form there is actually “Till death us do part.” The form “Till death do we part” would literally mean that you and I are ...


8

Nobody really has the sense of this yet. In Till death do us part us is the object of the verb part. Write it another way to make it clearer: Till death do part us Now, why is there a do there instead of a does? Because it is not an indicative but a subjunctive statement. Another way to say that would be Till death should [or might, or ...


7

Because real English speakers speak real English, and didn't learn it from your teachers. Forms like You hungry? and She coming? are common in speech, but are very informal, and would not be found in most written contexts.


7

Passive does not invert its auxiliary be; it just inserts it and turns the verb to past participle. Promoting the direct object to subject is not inversion, which is simple re-ordering of words. The "must be turned into" part of your proposed transformation is wrong, with preposed only. Inversion is not required with preposed adverbs, although it is ...


7

The general answer is that you only move the verb ahead of the subject within a main clause. All of your examples have WH-movement within an embedded clause. What have you been doing today? (main clause) I asked [what you have been doing today]. (embedded clause) I am annoyed because of [what you have been doing today]. (embedded clause) Can ...


7

First, note that "x is y" is not always logically equivalent to "y is x". For example, "Fools are my friends" is different from "My friends are fools" (because the first allows wise men to be my friends too, whereas the second does not); "All men are mortals" is very different from "Mortals are all men" :-) That said, sometimes there is an equivalence, and ...


7

Should something happen is equivalent to if the thing in question happens. Therefore the sentence from your paragraph could be rewritten as: Backup and recovery procedures protect your database against data loss and reconstruct the data, if loss occurs. A simpler example to help you understand this easier: Should I arrive late tomorrow, we will ...


7

The verb be does not take an object. It has a subject and a complement, not an object. Consequently *be them cannot be correct.


6

This is called subject–verb inversion, and is done for a variety of reasons. The referenced article mentions four sorts: Locative inversion Directive inversion Copular inversion Quotation inversion This one is locative inversion, because the sentences starts with a location specification, a “where” phrase. This is completely common in English. At the ...


6

It's dangerous to generalize that supply is the inverse (or opposite) of apply. It might sound that way when speaking of functions, or possibly other things, but there are many nuances to the usage of supply and apply that would make most reversals sound strange or contrived. In fact, there would be many cases where they are used nearly as synonyms not ...


6

"Do I love you?" is the proper form. In spoken English, though, you can, and in suitable situations you would, use the form "I love you?" To put this into an example (spoken): Situation A: Person A: "This guy came in and asked whether he can borrow my cell phone. Do I know him?" Person B: "Yes, he's one of our former employees, we've worked together ...



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