There are many such problems for which a greedy approach provides an optimal solution much more quickly than would a dynamic-programming approach.

This is from Page 321, Introduction to Algorithms 2nd Edition.

I know omitting "would" could convey somewhat different meaning. I thought even with "would" I would place it in the sentence as "...quickly than a dynamic-programming approach would".

Does the inversion means an emphasis here?

2 Answers 2


I'd say it was purely a matter of style. The writer may have felt that to put 'would' at the end of the sentence would have meant asking the reader to wait too long for it.


Comparative and superlative constructions trigger Negative Polarity items, and one such NPI is the enabling of auxiliary inversion, e.g:

  • I have seldom seen such a thing ~ Seldom have I seen such a thing.
  • I have frequently seen such a thing ~ *Frequently have I seen such a thing.

Inversion here just functions to get the modal up a little closer in the sentence to the implicit negation in the comparative. It's not so much "emphasis" as it is an expression of closer semantic relation.

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