I came across an acknowledgement in one of the theses which came for correction to me. The opening sentence says: "Forever shall I remain indebted to....". Is it the correct way of writing? In my opinion it should be: "Forever I shall remain indebted to...". Please correct me.

  • You may want to go though this long/rich AUE thread. Watch esp for Professor Lawler's commentary. Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 10:40
  • Either is correct, though the both are a bit archaic. "Normal" modern, non-poetic usage would be "I shall(or will) remain indebted forever."
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 12:18

2 Answers 2


When the usual subject-verb order is inverted, it is called inversion. It occurs naturally in interrogative sentences, e.g. "Were you here yersterday?"; in stories with direct speech, e.g. "Hi", said the rabbit.. In your particular example, the inversion is used for emphasis, putting it on the word forever, which is brought to the beginning of the sentence - an unusual position for it. It should be noted that this construct is rather literary. Other examples include:

Up went the balloon!

Into the dungeon came three masked men.

Not until hours later did I find him.


Both the sentences are equally correct. The former is used more in dialogues or poetry, the latter is a statement. The writer may write - "Forever shall I remain indebted to....". The use also is grammatically correct. Here of the sentence has a tinge of declaration. So we may consider it correct.

The normal order of the sentence would have been "Forever I shall remain indebted to..." or "I shall remain indebted to...(sb/sth)...forever". But they are plain statements.

So if the writer wishes to be poetic or have some force in his tone he should use - "Forever shall I remain indebted to....".

  • 3
    The normal order is "I shall forever remain indebted ...", or "I shall remain indebted ... forever.". See Ngram. Neither of the OP's choices is normal, and "Forever shall I ..." is more literary and poetic. Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 11:20

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