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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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neither vs nor inversion

I have never seen him laugh, nor have I ever seen him lose his temper. Is there a difference in the use of inversion with "neither" and "nor"? For instance, is it correct to ...
glance's user avatar
  • 47
0 votes
3 answers
222 views

The problem with "there"

It is natural, now, to think of there being connected with a sign, also what I should like to call the sense of the sign. It's the first sentence of the paragraph. There wasn't a context about some ...
Sayber73's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
35 views

Meaning of 'To Marx are due X and Y' [duplicate]

This question is about the emphasized sentence in the following paragraph from Proposed Roads to Freedom by Bertrand Russell: Socialism as a power in Europe may be said to begin with Marx. It is true ...
apadana's user avatar
  • 455
-1 votes
0 answers
67 views

Why don't indirect questions undergo subject-auxiliary inversion, like in languages like Spanish? [duplicate]

Just two days ago, I asked a question about indirect questions in Spanish and English. Usually, when we pose an indirect question in English, we first ask a direct question like this: "Do you ...
Stim Roe's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
123 views

Is “How tiresome are you” ungrammatical?

On a post on twitter a girl had sent messages to her boyfriend and one of the messages was How tiresome are you. People were saying that it is grammatically incorrect but I don't understand why ...
Planarya Hihi's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
95 views

Question on word order for inverted Sentence structure

I have an odd sentence structure that I'm proofing that, for the author's idiosyncratic needs, has to maintain an inverted structure. The sentence is trustworthy must he be who would be allowed our ...
norseeagle's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
827 views

Is "don't" a particle of its own?

I noticed an oddity in the sentence Why don't you just do it?: Although I always thought of don't simply as of a short form of do not it seems to me as if this is not the case in this sentence. ...
Jonathan Herrera's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
736 views

What Is 'Given' Information according to the 'Given-before-New' Principle?

In Steven Pinker's book The Sense of Style, he talks about the 'given-before-new' principle (most notably on pages 131–138). He states, '... people learn by integrating new information into their ...
MJ Ada's user avatar
  • 391
1 vote
0 answers
111 views

Nor + inversion or no inversion?

My teacher showed me these examples at the lesson about conjunctions: a) She does not eat meat, nor does she drink milk. b) My grandfather could neither read nor write, but he was a very wise person. ...
Bartene's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
2 answers
185 views

Comma and inversion

I just wrote an English exam and I'm not sure if these two sentences which I've written are correct. If they're not, please tell me and if they are please back that up with a credible source. Not ...
bochner.martinelli's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
46 views

How do multiple modal constructions work with ellipsis or inversion?

I have been researching on multiple modal constructions, which is a dialect mainly used in The Southern United States. Unlike Standard English, this dialect allows more than one modal auxiliary per ...
student's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
331 views

Why is the structure interrogative-which-word – subject – verb (including question mark) being used so often? Is it grammatical?

I've noticed that more and more headlines of articles and ads (excluding those in more traditional online media) are of the structure interrogative-subject-verb instead of interrogative-verb-subject. ...
Mathieu Dhondt's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
57 views

Inversion — a really odd example

In the book Story Genius by Lisa Cron we read: Even if she's only six, she already has a worldview that, like most of us, she's never even questioned—why should she? As far as she can see it's "...
Lux's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
0 answers
56 views

Which of these possible multi-choice answers is correct and why? [duplicate]

A Chinese teacher of English asked me about the following, taken from an English test for Chinese people. It's quite tricky I think. I would like to know three things: Which answer or answers do you ...
Pedroski's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
0 answers
78 views

Negatives and Interrogatives with and without subject-verb inversion: "Didn't you have a lecture today?" vs "You didn't have a lecture today?"

"Didn't you have a lecture today?" vs "You didn't have a lecture today?" Regarding the aforementioned clauses, from "experience", I can surmise different, subtle nuances. ...
ARGYROU MINAS's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
64 views

Have a question about a particular use of inversion in English [duplicate]

It is found that the complainant, deterred by fear of the pollution which he would have suffered had he passed near the Pariahs, did not conduct the procession. In the above sentence, why is the ...
nityananthan murugan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
37 views

Regarding a sentence involving coordination and subject-auxiliary inversion

When I am reading a paper, I come across a long sentence: Only when this pain remains with you, is with you eternally, can you enjoy eternally the pace and dance of humanity, can praise the shouts ...
thatness's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
42 views

When is this type of inversion usually used? [duplicate]

What is this inversion rule? I heard "After bad weather comes fine weather", it was obvious for me that the word "comes" here was related to "fine weather". Yes, I learnt ...
George Glebov's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

"implies the narrator"?

A sentence on this website reads: It might well be, implies the narrator, that he made up the whole story, but he's content to leave it up to the reader to decide which "passages" of his ...
apprenant's user avatar
  • 103
1 vote
2 answers
52 views

Word order in embedded clause: "had little conception of... how supine was the Security Council"

I find the word order of this sentence interesting: You will all know the outlines of this disaster, but I suggest that many people, including me before I went down this road, had really little ...
desmo's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
32 views

What grammar is this: Only once you ... are you interested in [duplicate]

I came through a comment here ... Only once you know this are you interested in considering workarounds I believe I can rephrase it to "Once you know this, you are interested in considering ...
Henry Fung's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
94 views

Why is there subject auxiliary inversion in the embedded clause in "I wonder could we untie him"?

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 ...
Yili Xia's user avatar
  • 139
-1 votes
1 answer
303 views

Arise vs arises with singular subject and plural object

I've found a few similar questions here, but I'm still not sure in this specific case if there should be a preference for using the word arise or arises: Originally proposed before BCS theory as a ...
Toby Hawkins's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
131 views

Have you a name?

In The Dig, a video game, character Maggie asks a question this way (full script here): MAGGIE: Have you a name? CREATOR: I had a name, when I was alive. Now that I am again and again dead, what need ...
sourcream's user avatar
  • 117
1 vote
1 answer
105 views

Exclamation as a negative adverbal phrase for an inverted sentence?

I am wondering if it is possible to construct an emotional sentence with an exclamation followed by an inversion: Holy cow is this fish small! [added:] How did it not sink your boat? with the ...
Kiki's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

Do any exclamative sentences admit Subject-Auxiliary Inversion?

I just read in a comic book How great is it that your partner knows so many good restaurants! Is this substandard English? Or are there some types of clauses (e.g. It-clefts) that have exclamative ...
Zoltan's user avatar
  • 493
0 votes
1 answer
359 views

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 " ...
Mahdi's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
0 answers
15 views

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 ...
user453719's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
45 views

When can an embedded interrogative clause exhibit Subject-Auxiliary Inversion? [duplicate]

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 ...
Zoltan's user avatar
  • 493
7 votes
5 answers
3k views

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 ...
xmllmx's user avatar
  • 2,770
5 votes
1 answer
553 views

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) ...
Zac's user avatar
  • 51
1 vote
1 answer
172 views

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 ...
fatherlennard's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
412 views

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?
Arminius's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
60 views

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 ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 31
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

'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?
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

"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 ...
brainchild's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
213 views

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 ...
Ali Abdari's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
59 views

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 ...
DH K's user avatar
  • 119
-1 votes
3 answers
420 views

”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
anonymous user's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
256 views

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 ...
Harry's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
1 answer
203 views

"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 ...
Anastasia's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
28 views

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 "...
Dxml's user avatar
  • 161
1 vote
0 answers
110 views

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 ...
ddd's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
841 views

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 ...
bob's user avatar
  • 127
-1 votes
1 answer
1k views

"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 ...
Boolean's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
104 views

"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 ...
Nate Rivers's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Does the sentence 'Boy, are my arms tired' mean 'Boy, my arms are tired.'? [closed]

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 ...
notnative's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
161 views

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 ...
Konrad Höffner's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
93 views

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 ...
Anonymous's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
610 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 ...
Artefacto's user avatar
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