I was reading the book The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and there is a sentence from it I found quite strange:

"I wonder could we untie him as well?" said Susan presently. But the enemies, ....

Why is there a subject-auxiliary inversion in the embedded clause?

Is it something to do with garden path?

  • 6
    I would think it's more an attempt to mimic spoken English; in written language you'd probably write it as I wonder, could we untie him as well?. Garden path sentences lead you to an alternative interpretation of a sentence which is invalidated later on, which isn't the case here. Jan 22 at 17:38
  • @OliverMason Thanks for your explanation. I understand that there is a difference between oral language and written one.
    – Xia.Yili
    Jan 24 at 14:15
  • 2
    @jlawler I see. Thanks for providing the source. I think it has solved my question.
    – Xia.Yili
    Jan 24 at 14:15
  • 1
    I'd probably insert a comma or colon after "wonder". Another way of expressing the same idea would be "Could we, I wonder, untie him as well?" 2 days ago
  • Thanks Oliver Mason. I understand that it is in spoken English.
    – Xia.Yili


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