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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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1 vote
2 answers
164 views

"As I was to learn was the case with so much in Iran, everybody just turned a blind eye."

I came across a sentence while reading a book and couldn't figure out both the meaning and the structure of it at all. The sentence is: "But, as I was to learn was the case with so much in Iran, ...
2 votes
1 answer
188 views

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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
223 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
118 views

Fronting of helping verbs for impossible probabilities

This is from 'Landour Days' by Ruskin Bond where he dwells at length on writings by hand. " A few years earlier, when Dickens and Balzac had submitted their hefty manuscripts in longhand, no one had ...
0 votes
1 answer
63 views

The clause starts with “be”? [duplicate]

We write when we need to remember something, be it an idea, a quote or the outcome of a study. In the second clause, the beginning is be. What is the grammatical rule behind it?
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 ...
-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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
397 views

Can you please tell me what is the food choice / what the food choice is? (inversion)

1a. "Can you please tell me what is the food choice for a vegetarian?" Why is there no inversion in the example above? I mean, why did the native English speaker who wrote the example not ...
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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
62 views

Is inversion used in "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 ...
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. ...
2 votes
2 answers
741 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 ...
3 votes
4 answers
906 views

Is "What courses is everyone taking?" grammatical?

A friend and I are having an argument over which of the following is correct: What courses is everyone taking? What courses are everyone taking? I say the first is grammatical, because in the ...
0 votes
2 answers
195 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
112 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. ...
2 votes
0 answers
47 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
62 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 ...
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. ...
10 votes
1 answer
14k views

Is the word order correct in "I'm not sure what is the right way" or is it only correct to say "I'm not sure what the right way is"?

I believe "I'm not sure what the right way is" is grammatically correct. Recently I've seen too many people writing it this way: I'm not sure what is the right way. Is it grammatically ...
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 "...
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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
57 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 ...
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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
169 views

"the" with subjects in subject-verb inversion [closed]

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. – ...
1 vote
1 answer
79 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
79 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. ...
0 votes
2 answers
351 views

Question about putting an adverb before a verb

I need to mention here that I've read in an educational book that we normally or perhaps always put an adjective before a noun. We do not say: A day beautiful, we say: a beautiful day. I am curious as ...
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Place of "not" in sentence

In The Island of Doctor Moreau they chant: "Are we not men?" So my question is: when we place not before men, not after are, what we are implementing?
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Not until [sentence] do [sentence]

Example: “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau Can someone explain the structure of the aforementioned sentence? Can someone name this type of sentence?
1 vote
3 answers
3k views

Inversion after "than"/"as"

I'd like to know (1) which of the following is the most natural and (2) whether any of the following is unnatural or ungrammatical: (A) My system is no more expensive than yours would be. (B) My ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

How do I determine subject and subject complement in "A side-effect is the spread of commercialese to other domains."?

Consider this example: Commercialese is an instrument of art, designed to enrich and invigorate our language—surely you will all agree with this—, and we should encourage newcomers to learn ...
0 votes
2 answers
436 views

Subject + verb inversion

I have come across, more and more frequently, the fact that writers move the verb forward in sentences like: Today some English teachers attend to grammatical niceties in a more analytical way than ...
2 votes
2 answers
97 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Inverse of dependency

In a project management context where A and B would be tasks, if A needs B, then B is a dependency of A. Is there a word to describe what A is to B? As @KateGregory put it, I want to replace "we need ...
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 ...
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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
695 views

Is this an inversion? If so, why would you use an inversion in this case?

Here's a quote from a CNN transcript, wherein a consumer psychologist says the following: "What is relatively new are shoppers turning on other shoppers." If "what is relatively new" were the subject,...
-1 votes
1 answer
314 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
5k views

Inversion with a prepositional phrase [duplicate]

I understand inversion but I have a difficulty when it comes down to "there." A: Under the window there stood a vase. B: Under the window stood a vase. Here my teacher said that option B ...
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is inversion using the present perfect correct in ''Should you have decided...''?

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 is ...
2 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the term for a phrase like "school it is"?

I heard this kind of expression in conversation: 1) A.- You should go to school and learn. B.- All right, school it is. 2) A.- Open the window unless there is better idea. B.- (no ...
2 votes
4 answers
4k 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 "...
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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is inversion used in "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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