0

Does someones knows what is the right order? Where do I put 'it was'

A)"A shocking moment it was and I became dreadfully afraid to open my eyes.."

V)"It was a shocking moment and I became dreadfully afraid to open my eyes.."

  • Can be used in regular speech for confirmation of a statement made earlier without sounding like Yoda, like: "He warned me it would be a shocking moment. A shocking moment it was." – Rusty Core Feb 11 '19 at 17:42
-1

Option V is standard, whereas Option A sounds odd or like there's an overwhelming need to emphasize the information appearing first.

Option V is more usual ("It was a shocking moment"), since it follows a standard expected order:

subject ("it"), verb ("was"), and object or complement ("a shocking moment")

SVO is the standard pattern for syntax in English. However, some reorganization of this pattern can be attempted for English, in a process known as inversion or fronting. In the case of A, we have:

Object or complement ("A shocking moment"), subject ("it"), verb ("was")

Not many languages use this pattern regularly. In English, the most famous regular speaker in this syntax is Yoda. You only want to write with this syntax when the need to emphasize the object/complement is so urgent that it overwhelms ordinary syntax. (In other words, you front the information.)

Of course, you can use it all the time to sound like a Jedi Master.

  • This is complicated by the fact that dummy it is also used. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 11 '19 at 18:17
  • 1
    I think perhaps this answer is a bit too heavy on the cautionary tales – yes, fronting is done for effect and shouldn’t be overused, but it’s not quite as rare or requires quite as much overwhelming emphasis as you imply here. It’s a perfectly common approach to emphasise something in a sentence. @EdwinAshworth This isn’t a dummy it, just a regular it. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 11 '19 at 22:23
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet CGEL p 1483 (S2:5d) argues that 'dummy' status depends on degree of referentiality plus replaceability of 'it' by 'this'. And though they argue for (quasi-)referentiality with a similar example, you've really got to dig deep here to find a true referent (what transpired [next] ); 'A shocking moment is what occurred' is of course artificial. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 12 '19 at 16:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.