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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?

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  • 2
    I am confused about what you are referring to. Are you talking about the inverted verb-subject order in the second clause?
    – Kosmonaut
    Mar 5 '11 at 15:34
  • yes, the inverted verb-subject order.
    – sterz
    Mar 6 '11 at 4:54
  • But here the first clause is subordinate. The inverted one is the main clause. Apr 15 '11 at 18:06
  • ''Full inches seven??'' Is this an archaic inversion Aug 18 '19 at 12:35
  • This does not answer the question. And there is no inversion involved at all. Aug 18 '19 at 13:41
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That is an archaic construction (and not limited to subordinate clauses/sentences); one wouldn't use it today except in dialog in a period piece.

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  • 1
    Is something wicked this way comes also archaic?
    – sterz
    Mar 5 '11 at 6:57
  • 2
    Yes -- it's a quotation from Shakespeare's Macbeth (Act IV, Scene I).
    – bye
    Mar 5 '11 at 7:07
  • 1
    "I like cinema." "So do I."
    – apaderno
    Mar 5 '11 at 15:41
  • Also archaic, I'm afraid. (Even that meaning of the word so only holds in certain specific phrases.) Old forms hold on in frequently-used words and phrases even as the world changes around them. There are a few individual idiomatic phrases you just have to know -- like so do I and how to pluralize ox. There is no general rule of grammar to apply.
    – bye
    Mar 5 '11 at 23:14
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    @Jason Orendorff: Indeed - there are plenty more situations were inversion happens - examples similar to "so" (Nor do I; As do I; Never have I...); questions (as you mention); fronted adverbials (In the house lives an old woman); comparatives ("Better still are the ones that follow") and so on. Inversion in general is far from archaic.
    – psmears
    Jun 29 '11 at 17:27

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