0

In English, is it possible a sentence like this?

Worse than those who do something are those who do something else.

I think this would be the standard sentence:

Those who do something else are worse than those who do something.

But I was wondering if such syntax is possible to emphasize what it's worse in the sentence.

8
  • 1
    [is a sentence like this possible]. Yes, it's possible. Because: it is an inversion with the verb to be. This question may be closed or not. If not, I will put in an answer.
    – Lambie
    Nov 12 '21 at 15:37
  • 2
    It's not only fine, it's good writing.
    – Robusto
    Nov 12 '21 at 15:42
  • 1
    Better the syntax you know than the syntax you don't. Nov 12 '21 at 15:47
  • 1
    'Worse than those who do nothing are those who do something stupid' is an example of inversion using a fronted predicative complement. The complement is weighty, though could reasonably in the right context be reduced to the adjective. At exception to the word order S - V -, John Lawler discusses Comp - Vcop - S inversions, noting that 'predicate adjective constructions don't reverse very well' (ie some sound dreadful). 'Worst of all are those who stop the real helpers.' / 'Tall is Tom.' Nov 12 '21 at 16:19
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers: It's a multiple translation and archaic to boot. That's not English syntax. Nov 12 '21 at 16:40
2

Worse than those who do something are those who do something else.

Syntactically, this an example of subject-dependent inversion, where the adjectival predicative complement "worse than those who do something" is inverted with the subject "those who do something else".

This type of inversion puts the subject in final position, where it typically receives greater phonological prominence than in its basic position.

0

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