Unlike the sentences

He said I would feel funny and I felt funny.

He said I would feel funny and I did feel funny,

the grammatical construction used in the title doesn't seem to be widely used. Anyway, I didn't meet it before and I can't find any reference to fully grasp it.

Would it be right to say that it may be used in situations when predictions, prognoses, or wishes come true? What is it called and in what other situations may it be used?

Can the following sentences be used in the same situations:

He said I would feel funny and funny I felt.

He said I would feel funny and funny did I feel,

or there are some usage nuances I should know to choose between them more precisely?

  • By reversing the word order of the second clause here, sing receives special emphasis: I said he must sing for his supper and sing he shall!
    – TimR
    Nov 27, 2016 at 11:09
  • It rings quaint in my ear. My (Irish) grandmother used this construction now and then. Here's an example from 1844: books.google.com/…
    – TimR
    Nov 27, 2016 at 11:15

2 Answers 2


This is an example of fronting. The phrase "feel funny" is fronted for emphasis, leaving "did" as a 'trace'. It's more general than the contexts you mention.

The form I would expect is

He said I would feel funny and funny I felt.

because "funny" is what I would expect to be fronted, rather than "feel funny". But your form is grammatical.

Your third form is also grammatical, but even less likely, because there it no obvious reason for the "did".

  • He told me to look lively and lively I looked sounds more than a bit daft to me, but I've no real problem with ...and look lively I did. I think what that means is I see and [bare infinitive] [pronoun] did as an idiomatically established "fixed form" that can be freely applied in a wide range of literary and "facetious" contexts. But to my mind, your ...and funny I felt is only just about credible as a deliberately facetious mangling of ...and feel funny I did, not as a "valid" form in its own right. Nov 27, 2016 at 15:10
  • @FumbleFingers: I don't agree. I think the reason that "lively I looked" doesn't work is that "look lively" is a fixed idiom (there's no meaning ascribable to "look" in it, that I can see). But it appears that you and I have different views on the acceptability of these phrases - which is data for the OP.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 27, 2016 at 17:30
  • Hmm. I see your point, but He said I'd get thirsty and thirsty I got also sounds pretty awful to me without that "past-tense do-support" (or "allusion to fixed-form", as I'd prefer to call it). And surely get thirsty isn't really a fixed idiom in this context? Also - what if we add just one extra word? He said I'd get thirsty later and get thirsty later I did just about works for me, but I can't see how to shoehorn later in there except by repeating the entire "infinitive verb phrase" exactly as it first appeared. But as you say, opinions vary, which is interesting to all. Nov 27, 2016 at 17:55
  • It's different with BE. He said I'd be shocked, and [be?!] shocked I was, but no way to get an I did version of that. Nov 27, 2016 at 18:04

It's called hyperbaton in English. https://www.thefreedictionary.com/hyperbaton

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