I found this sentence:

I am convinced that not only could I control a group of people effectively, but the group would also benefit from my skills.

Why is this word order correct: "could I" (auxiliary verb + subject)? Which clause structure/rule is this?

1 Answer 1


When used in this way, "not only" requires an auxiliary verb and sub-aux inversion. Thus, for example, all of the following are correct:

Not only could I control . . .

Not only did I control . . .

Not only was I controlling . . .

It won't work, however, with a non-auxiliary verb:

*Not only controlled I . . .

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