I am reading a text as follow:

Oh, yes, and Copacabana Beach. Wilbur didn’t like that very much. He got so badly sunburned. Wow, was his face red! It’s the hole in the ozone layer, he figures.

Why in the above text there is "was his face red" instead of "his face was red"? I guess it is a way to emphasis, but I am not sure.

  • 1
    You're right – it's used for emphasis.
    – user3395
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 17:45
  • So may I have some simple examples?
    – AR AM
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 18:04
  • Is that way to emphasis common?
    – AR AM
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 18:06
  • 2
    Yes, very common in spoken English. I have made up some examples for you in my answer. Gees, are you hard to please. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 23:17

1 Answer 1


This is usually a spoken form:

Boy, was he laughing hard. Man, was he drunk. Gees, were they wrong. Cripes, were we silly.

You may see it in a "text" but it is a spoken form.

It is used for emphasis.

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