Questions tagged [inversion]

Questions about reversing the order of a clause’s subject and verb, including subject–auxiliary inversion in questions and normal subject–verb swap in locative, directive, copular, and quotative inversions.

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1answer
38 views

“Against whom” vs “Whom against”

Against whom are you playing? Whom against are you playing? (Some better way to say this) Can anyone explain which sentence is the exactly correct one, or provide one that is? Does the order of the ...
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8answers
16k views

Can you explain the sentence structure 'In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit'? Why put the verb before the subject?

The opening sentence to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien reads, In a hole in the ground there lived [verb] a hobbit [subject]. I wonder if there are accepted stylistic purposes for such a structure. ...
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2answers
74 views

Which “not” is not in the proper place: “Not only does (not) she (not) know, but also …” [closed]

I know that whenever we bring "not only" at the beginning of a sentence, what comes after it has to be in question form. Now, I'm having a problem with the negative form of this question. Which one ...
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3answers
497 views

Fronting correct use

I have this phrase (created myself) He was entering into the office slowly / Slowly, he was entering into the office. (there shouldn't be difference I suppose) Now, the rules say that if I have ...
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2answers
1k views

How does the “reverse syntax” in Middle English work?

I was reading the Romance of Tristan and I came across the passage: "Therefore did Tristan claim justice and the right of battle and therefore was he careful to fail in nothing of the homage he owed ...
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2answers
2k views

Correctness of questions without inversion, relying on intonation

I hear and read them all the time. I mean stuff like: You're just going to stay here? Instead of: Are you just going to stay here? Then I write like this out of habit and get called out on ...
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1answer
198 views

''Should you have decided'' Inversion

In an email I received from my university, the following is stated: ''Should you have decided to do the assignment, please send us an email.'' My question is whether the inversion and usage of should ...
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1answer
29 views

Interchanging “if” and “then”

AFAIK, normally one would write: "If c is zero and b nonzero or b2=4 a c, then and only then there exists a unique solution of 0=a+bx+cx2." Is it possible to interchange the if and the ...
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1answer
722 views

When “be it” is at the beginning of a sentence, what kind of structure do you call it?

I think it is kind of inversion and I'd found some info on Wikipedia, but I cannot recall what term this structure is, I even remember some examples from Wiki, say, "be it ever so humble, there's no ...
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1answer
88 views

If only had I known it! / If only I had known it!

Could you help me, please? A question for the native speakers (desired) of British English or American English. Which variant is correct and why? Or it's possible to use either of them)? If only ...
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6answers
9k views

How is “Can anyone tell me how can I solve this” wrong?

I posted a question somewhere that said... Can anyone tell me how I can solve this? ...but someone edited it to... Can anyone tell me how can I solve this? ...and it was accepted. That's ...
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1answer
18 views

Should “is…” be always considered as question sentence?

Should this always be considered as a question? or there is exception? In figure A: is the frame bigger then in the figure B.
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3answers
4k views

Inversion by “only” in a passive sentence

I have searched for the grammar concerning inversion in passive voice, and my search was fruitless. I was wondering how to put "only" at the beginning of a passive sentence. For example: Only the ...
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0answers
11 views

Grammatical error in a sentence [duplicate]

Which one is the correct sentence? I want to know where my weakness is I want to know where is my weakness
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0answers
25 views

Inversion with adverbials: when do I need the auxiliary?

I'd like to know why some inversions need an auxiliary and others don't need one. For example: "Little did I know about her" auxiliary + subject + verb Why not "Little knew I about her", which is ...
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4answers
2k views

Omitting whether (if): Not sure if we can do this

I'm not sure if(or, whether) we can do it. Can this sentence be written in this way... I'm not sure can we do it. Can whether, or if, be omitted like that and still be understandable? Thanks.
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2answers
46 views

Stylistic Inversion

This book titled "EcoJustice Education: Toward Diverse, Democratic, and Sustainable Communities" has this sentence: On the positive side of this system is the seemingly infinite variety of produce ...
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1answer
52 views

Is there an inversion in the clause? [closed]

The noise was like an English fox-hunt only better because every now and then with the music of the hounds was mixed the roar of the other lion and sometimes the far deeper and more awful roar of ...
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4answers
3k views

Why do some questions not start with an auxiliary verb?

When I learned English, my teachers told me that all questions must have an auxiliary verb at the beginning, just like Are you mad? or Is she playing? do. But when watching some movies or talking ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the rule for using inversion with “as”?

As far as I know, we can use either inversion or normal sentence order with "as" when we are talking about things or people in the "as clause" that are different from those we are mentioning in the ...
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1answer
22 views

Unsure if my inverse order compound sentence makes is correct

I am working on a college essay and I have one sentence that may have a grammar issue. I was successful in my goals for the program, but even more so was the program successful in its goals for ...
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2answers
94 views

Especially + verb + Subject

I have just found the following sentence: Especially is this true in the field of psychology. I know the rule that says that whenever a sentence begins with an adverb that expresses negativity, it ...
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2answers
121 views

Subject in “Over there is where I'll be.”

Here's a conversation between a receptionist of a hotel and a man wanting to meet a girl living in the hotel: Man: Is she in? Receptionist: Just missed her, actually, but you're welcome to ...
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3answers
155 views

English Subject-auxiliary inversion

In normal declarative English sentences, let's call them 'canonical' sentences, the verb comes after the subject. Bob is walking the Great Wall of China. Bob likes elephants. But in other types of ...
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3answers
15k views

“There is the man.” Is *there* an adverb or pronoun?

According to Dictionary.com there adverb in or at that place (opposed to here ): She is there now. pronoun (used to introduce a sentence or clause in which ...
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1answer
46 views

Position of 'was' at the end of a nominal clause

Can somebody help me categorise the meaning/purpose of the following sentence, and explain why the verb 'was' is at the end of what I hope is a nominal clause? I was shocked by how blue the sky was. ...
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1answer
169 views

A question about the sentence “And boy, have we patented it.”

In 2007, Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone. During the presentation, he introduced a feature called Multi-touch; he said, "And boy, have we patented it!" What I am wondering about is the ...
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1answer
76 views

Is a dummy pronoun missing in this sentence? What is this grammatical phenomenon?

This sentence from Walden by Henry David Thoreau strikes me as unusual. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the predicate in “Is he happy?”

In most theories of grammar, sentences can be broken into smaller chunks called phrases and these phrases can be broken into smaller chunks, smaller phrases still. So in the sentence: He is happy. ...
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0answers
29 views

inversion: From this hardship emerged a country

I'd like to know how to analyze the inversion structure below. Has the prepositional phrase from this hardship exchanged its position with the subject a country that is more capable of coping with ...
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1answer
322 views

Replacing “do you have” with “have you”

Found a similar question here, but with some minor differences. Is it archaic to use have you in sentences such as this: John : I think we can see it with a specially crafted telescope. Mary : ...
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1answer
548 views

Is “Have you some water?” a grammatically correct sentence? [duplicate]

I believe it same as saying "Do you have some water?" Is it?
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1answer
40 views

Grammatical rule used in “change it will” in the following sentence

The sentence is: That's why the future Internet will have to change, and change it will. This looks like a kind of an inverted sentence but I didn't see such a structure before in the ...
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4answers
121 views

“Is there” or “there is”?

Do I need to use "is there" or "there is" in the following sentence? It is natural to ask under which conditions is there a subtype relation between two given arrow types. If I change "is" to "...
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0answers
117 views

Is the sentence, “What I can tell you is that, hidden within the question, lies the answer,” correct?

Here's the sentence: "What I can tell you is that, hidden within the question, lies the answer." It makes sense, but I don't really know it's it right. I figured that the "hidden within the question, ...
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1answer
37 views

What construction or classification is “Come what may”

Is this an example of inversion, an idiom, archaic usage, or just incorrect?
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2answers
82 views

How do you use “which” when asking a question

I am wondering how to state this question and do not know which one is correct so is #1 correct or #2 correct or are they both grammatically fine? Ferrous metals contain which element? Which element ...
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1answer
8k views

Inversion after 'Only When'

I've learned it is obligatory to invert subject and verb when 'only when' is placed at the beginning of a sentence. However, I've recently found the sentence below. "Only when the rule can have some ...
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1answer
67 views

What is the structure in the sentence: “The reason scientists believe that…”

I have this sentence from one of my IELTS books: One of the reasons scientists think that there is a link between stress and cancer is the idea that there may be a cancer-prone personality At ...
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1answer
51 views

Can subject–auxiliary inversion in conditionals be used with non-auxiliary (arbitrary) verbs?

Can I say something like Come you there, I'll get you. ? Or should I only say something like Should you come there, I'll get you. ? I understand that it looks like I must use an auxiliary ...
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1answer
38 views

“I wonder, if I pushed the top of her head, would aerosol spray out of her mouth.”

In Kathryn Stockett's The Help one of the main characters Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan speculates about mate's hair: I wonder, if I pushed the top of her head, would aerosol spray out of her mouth. ...
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3answers
6k views

“Attached {is/are} X, Y and Z.” If X, Y and Z are all singular, is it correct to use “is” here?

Which is correct? Attached are our compensation plan, an independent contract agreement, and a W9. Attached is our compensation plan, an independent contract agreement, and a W9. I thought because ...
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1answer
43 views

About inversion in a title [closed]

Usually we would say 'the making of XXX' to describe the production process of something. Like, the making of a car...etc. But I just heard somebody said 'XXX making of' as an activity title. The ...
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1answer
200 views

Can we have inversion with temporal expressions?

Is it correct to say: "On Friday is a concert at Trafalgar Square." or do we have to say: "On Friday there is a concert at Trafalgar Square." I know that inversion can occur with locative ...
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1answer
563 views

Reported speech, question in a conditional sentence

I've been struggling with this exercise: "Let's drive on to the next village and try the hotel there," he said. "But what'll we do if that's full too?" I said. "We'll just have to sleep in the car," ...
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3answers
457 views

“more so than is the case”

Before my question, let me show you its context: A restaurant is a destination in itself as a place to eat, rather than (as with an inn) a place of local gathering or traveler's shelter that ...
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2answers
279 views

What is the VP in a subject-dependent inversion?

A canonical declarative clause consists of a subject and a predicate, the former normally being a noun phrase (NP) and the latter mostly a verb phrase (VP). Therefore, a canonical declarative clause ...
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1answer
796 views

“Only until” requires subject inversion?

Is this sentence correct? It also may explain why only until the economics was relaxed after a difficult period, the policies to solve EVD crisis could attempt to get openly involved in the ...
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4answers
5k views

“Here he comes”, “Here comes he” : The order of pronoun and verb in inversion

It's very common to say: "Here he comes." "Here comes the man." But what about: "Here comes he." "Here the man comes." Is there a rule about the order of noun and verb in ...
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1answer
47 views

Only through Christ are we saved? [duplicate]

I know this is biblical, my question is whether this is correct or not. Can it be used in modern day? Example : Much like our lives, only by dedicating undivided attention to our people can we teach .....