Questions tagged [subject-verb-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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can we use inversion after "then"

In the following sentence, the inversion structure has been used because of "then" or does it have another reason? The first moving pictures were simple "shadow shows" or " ...
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Would be possible were [duplicate]

The wheelbarrow is designed to distribute the weight of its load between the wheel and the operator, so enabling the convenient carriage of heavier and bulkier loads than would be possible were the ...
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When can an embedded interrogative clause exhibit Subject-Auxiliary Inversion?

I found in a comic book an interesting example of an embedded interrogative that had Subject-Auxiliary Inversion (SAI): I'm not too sure what exactly is it that you're asking. Is this Standard English ...
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Why isn't "witness" the third-person singular form in the example sentence?

The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary gives, for the word witness, an example sentence as follows: (Original Version) Authentic Italian cooking is very healthy —— witness the low incidence of ...
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Why can you say “not only will I” but not “not only I will”?

Given: Not only will I be skipping the breakfast, but the lunch too. Not only ❌I will be skipping the breakfast, but the lunch too. Why does sentence (2) sound so terribly wrong? Why is sentence (1) ...
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Hitchhiker's Guide opening sentence analysis according to Verspoor and Sauter [duplicate]

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams) Does anyone ...
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2 answers
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Subjunctive "be" inversion [closed]

Can i invert the protasis bellow : If you not be, ... Into : Be you not, ... Will it not —in an archaic sense— be mistaken for imperative and will it convey the same conditional notion?
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not only... but also (but also - together)

I know that parallelism is a maxim when it comes to talking about this matter, my question is: Not only do I like chocolate, but I also like coffee. (this is correct) Not only do I like chocolate, but ...
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'Did/does' at head of subordinate phrase

He does have a sense of humour does Mr Marr. Nigel Williams, 1992 Is this double use of do just doubly emphatic? Secondly, why can't do be used similarly, for example with a plural proper noun?
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"neither" as adverb leading sentence [duplicate]

Is it an accepted form to begin a sentence with the word "neither" used as an adverb? Many grammar sources discuss sentences beginning with "neither", but only in the context of ...
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How we can omit the subjects in "not only but also" structure?

When we can omit the subject (or sometimes the verb) in the second part of "not only... but also" structure? I have seen some examples: Not only is he handsome but also intelligent Not only ...
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Does 'Only' always trigger inversion? [duplicate]

Is every sentence that "Only" comes first inverted? For example, which one is correct? "Only after every person on Earth forgets me am I dead." or "Only after every person on ...
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”There are many who” vs ”Many are those who”

Is it grammatically correct to say: Many are those who enjoy camping and is it any different in meaning than There are many (people) who enjoy camping
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Can 'nowhere' be used as a subject?

I am utterly confused... The thing is I was helping a friend do an exercise in which she needed to put some words in the correct order to form a grammatical English sentence. The words in question ...
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"What went we out into this wilderness to find?" This sentence is grammatically correct. How?

"What went we out into this wilderness to find?" This is the first dialogue of the movie 'The VVitch'. I can't understand how this sentence is correct. I asked my teacher, she told me that ...
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Is the expression "Come what may" an exclamative? [duplicate]

A bit of a split-hair question, but should the word "come" in "come what may" be understood as an imperative, and therefore "come what may" is an exclamative (as in "...
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How to understand the grammar of "strength were granted me"?

I find the following sentence from a translation of Proust's In search of lost time: But at least, if strength were granted me for long enough to accomplish my work, ... I want to understand it ...
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Participle phrases and Inversion

In enwiki.org, this example is provided for showing inversion after a Participle phrases: Lurking in the corner stood a chicken with an ax, ready to take on the farmer in a fight to the death. In ...
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"How could I" and "how I could"? [closed]

Which one is correct? I don't know how could I help you. or I don't know how I could help you. Equivalently, I don't know how could you do this to me. or I don't know how you could do this to ...
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3 answers
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"behind the open door are hidden several differences". Is this grammatically correct? (Inversion+adverbial phrase of location+be verb) [duplicate]

Behind the open door are hidden several differences. This seems to be an inversion of the sentence Several differences are hidden behind the open door. Both sound intuitively correct, but the ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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Does the sentence 'Boy, are my arms tired' mean 'Boy, my arms are tired.'?

I found a meme that says 'I flew in from (wherever) and boy are my arms tired!'. I can understand what's funny about this meme but I can't understand why 'are my arms tired!' is used instead of 'my ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Question inversion in English like in German?

In German, one has to invert questions in a sub-sentence. Not doing so feels wrong in English to me, is it allowed in English too or is that strictly illegal grammar? Example "Now the question is ...
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2 answers
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Answer should be 'her' or 'their'? [duplicate]

Neither Nancy nor Loma remembered to bring _______ camera ] Her Their Them Neither In this questions option C "their" was given correct answer but I need an explanation to it as I read the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
191 views

Inversion in relative clause

The gardens stretched back to some reasonable-looking pasture land on which grazed a few cattle and sheep. Why is this inversion valid here? I would expect maybe "on which there grazed" (as ...
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Subject-verb inversion when subject isn't clear

I just felt like writing the following sentence: n^k distinct configurations has a 2dfa(k). It's natural formulation would be "a 2dfa(k) has n^k distinct configurations", but its after 2AM,...
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Inversion of passive voice (i think so)

Could someone please tell me how to complete the second sentence so that it has a same meaning to the first one using the given word? You must use between three and six words including the word given. ...
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dare I say (it) [duplicate]

used when you are saying something that you think other people may not like This famous novel is a little, dare I say it, dull. https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/dare-i-say-it Is ...
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'Why has it been removed' or 'why it has been removed'? [duplicate]

Would you mind telling me which sentence is correct: 'Why has it been removed?' From the grammar standpoint, it looks equally to 'Why do you think so?', right? 'Why it has been removed?' Thank you....
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Inversion in English: "In no realm of life has..." [duplicate]

I'm a regular on your site and learning English. I read the newspaper on a regular basis. Today I have come across this underlined sentence in the newspaper, it sounds bit odd to me. "IN NO ...
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Inversion without auxiliary verb? [duplicate]

It's pretty normal when people use inversion in a sentence like this one (with the aux verb at the front): "In no way do I agree with what you're saying." But I'm not sure if these belong to ...
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Inversion is not used after "not far/long"

Page 271 of Practical English Usage reads Inversion is not used after "not far/long" so we say Not far from here you can see foxes, or Not long after that she got married Why don't these ...
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Sentence order of "The World forgetting ..." [closed]

From the Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope is the line "The world forgetting, by the world forgot" I know the intended meaning of the line, so I didn't post on Literature StackExchange. I ...
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Color and inverted sentence?

One of my colleagues asked me the other day why can we say both the following? Red is my favorite color. My favorite color is red. Yet, we cannot say Red is his house. when his house is red. What ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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what does X mean vs what does it mean X

Once upon I time I asked the following question during a class for the CAE certification: What does it mean to [verb and something else]? and I was told that that's not English, as I should say ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why is "did" before the subject to show emphasis?

I read a passage and there is one sentence I don't know the usage of it. The sentence is “And did this young woman have a long memory.” I know ‘did’ is for emphatic use, but why it can be put ...
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Why we need inversion when a clause starts with a negative adverb?

Why is inversion needed when a clause starts with a negtive adverb? When a clause starts with neither, nor, never, we need inversion. Examples Never will you go to school. Nor will I do that. ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Inversion + continuous tense

How can I write the inverted sentence included continuous tense? For example, (A) On the hill were training many people. (B) On the hill were many people training. Can I write the sentence both way?
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Should danger approach [duplicate]

Should danger approach either its nest or the crocodile nest, the bird would emit warning cries. A. What is the grammatical name for this expression? B. What is its function?
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Inverted Conditional for Passive sentences

I was wondering what would the inverted version of a passive conditional sentence like the following ones be. If he were told to do so, he would tell me. If my car were stolen, I wouldn't report it. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can I make an inverted sentence from the following original one?

Here is the original sentence: So, I decided to walk only at night until I was far from the town. A teacher said this sentence can be changed into the following one : Only at night, did I dicide to ...
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Can a verb come after a conjunction

Can a verb come after a conjunction taking example of this sentence: Please Forward This Code And Notify Website Developer To Paste It Before </head> Tag And Make Please Get It Upload The ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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Transformation of sentence beginning with As soon as into sentence beginning with Hardly.....when

Consider this sentence: As soon as we reached the station, the train left. Now if I transform this into a sentence beginning with Hardly, then which of the following sentences is correct and why? ...
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"the" with subjects in subject-verb inversion

Explanation of what subjects we can use in subject-verb inversion: From an answer to “Here he comes”, “Here comes he” : The order of pronoun and verb in inversion: 1. On the corner is a cafe. – ...
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Many's the hour - inversion [closed]

Is it correct to say "Many's the hour have I spent listening to his fatuous ideas"? I'm not quite sure if inversion is possible with "many's the..." My gut feeling says "why not?!", but my left ...
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"Not only has he got many friends, but also several enemies." "Not only he has many friends, but also several enemies." [duplicate]

"Not only has he got many friends, but also several enemies." "Not only he has many friends, but also several enemies." Which out of the two statements above is correct?
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1 vote
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Inverted sentence + parallel structure

"Only through accurately understanding our feelings can we learn to free ourselves from negative emotions, which provides more creative energy, as well as the opportunity for limitless personal growth,...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Why you're laughing vs Why are you laughing? [closed]

Recently I was talking to my friend in English. He started laughing and I asked him Why you're laughing man? Someone told me you should say Why are you laughing? and this one is totally wrong. I got ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is wrong with the sentence “There put a student an amazing answer to the test”? [closed]

Why is this sentence ungrammatical? There put a student an amazing answer to the test.
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1 vote
1 answer
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Subject–verb inversion in a conditional’s protasis: does that mean it happened or not?

Does Had there been no support from others, I would not have asked him for help. mean the speaker did ask for help or that they did not do so?
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1 answer
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Can had inversion occur in past tense, not past perfect?

If the man had his life partner, he would be very happy. Had the man his life partner, he would be very happy. Is this inversion valid? I have learned that Had inversion only occurs in past perfect ...
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