"India and Pakistan are so often at odds that there is a tendency to shrug off their spats, but not since their most recent, full-blown war in 1971 has the risk of escalation been so high." Can anyone restructure the part after "but" to make it more clear? The meaning of the latter part is not so clear for me. Thanks.


1 Answer 1


"... but the risk of escalation has not been so high since their most recent, full-blown war in 1971 ."

The inversion of the verb is intended to put "so high" at the end of the sentence to signal that it is the point of the message.

  • +1. As you know, the verb-subject order is required by the "not since ..." syntax. Not since 1961 have we seen such high temperatures.
    – TimR
    Mar 1, 2019 at 15:39
  • @TRomano You make me think of this joke. borthlas.blogspot.com/2016/07/who-created-chaos.html The "not since" is not a given; it's part of a package deal with the inversion to get "so high" at the end of the sentence. I think it makes as much sense to say that the inversion requires the uniting of "not since" as opposed to the more prosaic "not .....since"
    – remarkl
    Mar 1, 2019 at 15:55
  • Thanks. Can anyone recommend a book covering this type of obscure syntax or grammar? Mar 2, 2019 at 2:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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