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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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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29 views

Participial phrases with/without a comma + Inversion [closed]

I'd like to know if all of these 5 sentences below are grammatically correct and have the same meaning. Beginning in 2014 employers with at least 50 full-time employees may be subject to new ...
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29 views

Is this sentence using anastrophe (inversion)?

Digested from the novel Southern Reach 01: Annihilation Above, raptors searched the ground below for prey, circling as if in geometric patterns so controlled was their flight. "What" was their ...
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68 views

What is the difference between “interest” and “of interest”, or between “abstract nouns” and “of + abstract nouns” [migrated]

I saw a sentence in Cambridge IELTS 14 said, "Of particular interest were those built to the designs of John Shaw Billings." I have some questions about it: What is the difference between "...
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1answer
56 views

“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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1answer
56 views

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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53 views

“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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33 views

“percentage”: verb agreement in singular after an inversion with the pronoun “there”

According to Garner's fourth edition, when the verb precedes the noun, a singular verb is required with percentage: a higher percentage of them are, but there is a higher percentage of them ...
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41 views

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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2answers
420 views

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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1answer
94 views

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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1answer
38 views

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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1answer
61 views

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 ...
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1answer
48 views

Make a guess about historic events

I am wondering what's the right structure to make a speculation about a past event. I have a GRE writing in which I've put forth a few speculations which could weaken the argument. I've tried to use a ...
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1answer
551 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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2answers
308 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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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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1answer
32 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
807 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
569 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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1answer
26 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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0answers
28 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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1answer
27 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
132 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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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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2answers
177 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
57 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
50 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
256 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
84 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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1answer
475 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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3answers
194 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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0answers
30 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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4answers
337 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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1answer
41 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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0answers
281 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
76 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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1answer
1k 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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2answers
88 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
70 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
55 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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1answer
46 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
215 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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3answers
695 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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4answers
2k 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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2answers
327 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
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 .....
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1answer
70 views

Usage of “Can” as a sentence [duplicate]

I have seen the following paragraph in a sample IELTS writing test but don't understand its grammatical structure. Why is it in question format but affirmative? To conclude, some say that we can ...
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1answer
123 views

How would I not know anything

I am not able to frame a question, but here is the situation: in your family your father is doubting your knowledge and he is asking you very simple questions. I want to reply him by saying why ...

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