I am utterly confused... The thing is I was helping a friend do an exercise in which she needed to put some words in the correct order to form a grammatical English sentence. The words in question were:

in / my / Nowhere / shop / than / ice cream / town / sells / else / our / uncle's / better

I was at a loss because I could not find a way to make a proper sentence using those words. My proposal was Nowhere else in town does ice cream sell better than in my uncle's shop, but in that case I would need an extra preposition and an auxiliary for inversion.

The plot thickens. When my friend asked her professor, he said that the correct answer should be Nowhere else in our town sells better ice cream than my uncle's shop. This sounds completely wrong to me. Am I losing my mind?

  • 2
    There’s no better in that list of words Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 10:07
  • << Nowhere sells better ice cream than my uncle's shop. >> uses nowhere metonymically (people sell things but we often draft in establishments as substitutes, notionally here ('no other establishment'). Somewhere and nowhere may be post-modified by else, and nowhere else by a prepositional phrase etc ('Nowhere else on Earth / east of the Mississippi / ...' ). Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 11:22
  • Your sentence uses "sell". The list of words has "sells". Commented Jun 6, 2021 at 2:01
  • It is just a puzzle question. Nowhere else in our town sells better ice cream than my uncle's shop
    – GEdgar
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


"nowhere" can be a pronoun, meaning "no place" and it goes without saying that it may serve as a subject. https://www.lexico.com/definition/nowhere

  • It doesn't follow that just because something is a pronoun that it can be the subject of a finite clause. You can’t do so using the pronoun him as the subject, and you’ll likely be hard pressed to do so using the pronoun whose as the subject, too. Just remember this: nowhere isn’t somewhere you can go. In fact, nowhere isn’t anywhere at all.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 21:06
  • 5
    @tchrist Yet "nowhere" is the subject of your last sentence.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 13:47
  • 1
    The OED has an example from DH Lawrence: "Nowhere is far off, in these small wall-girdled cities."
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 12:27

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