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Once American films looked slick and commercial compared to European imports; ...

(A) now, almost the reverse is true

(B) now it is almost the reverse that is true

Another similar question to what I've just asked. Clearly, A is correct. As far as I can see the other choice looks grammatically fine, but does it sound weird? Ambiguous? I don't know.

A comma is also missing, but I guess that might be a typo.

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    I don't see anything grammatically wrong with (B), but it does seem overly wordy. We have a guy at work who talks that way – it seems every sentence he utters has twice as many words than are necessary. It drives everybody nuts. – J.R. Feb 8 '14 at 23:16
  • I don't know if the test designer knows that I don't know if I can be sure that saying now it is almost the reverse that is true is good is true. Now I'm quite sure that that is at least almost true. :D – Damkerng T. Feb 9 '14 at 11:51
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+50

Let's write (B') for

...now, it's almost the reverse that's true.

The only reason (B) sounds weird is that the contractions "it's" and "that's" don't happen in it. In very formal writing I would prefer (A) to (B) to (B') (because some, myself not included, feel strongly that contractions should not be used in formal writing, and because (A) is less wordy than (B)). But in speech or most written contexts (A) and (B') are fine; (B) sounds weird. All are grammatically correct.

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It sounds awkward. This is more natural:

Once American films looked slick and commercial compared to European imports, however now the reverse is almost always true.

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    I don't think the however is needed in this case. The once .. now construct implies however. – J.R. Feb 8 '14 at 23:30
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    I also don't think the meanings of "almost the reverse is true" and "the reverse is almost always true" are equivalent. – Jim Feb 9 '14 at 1:47
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I'd drop the "is true". "Once American films looked slick and commercial compared to European imports, now it's the reverse."

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You find A correct? How? I'd not say ...almost the reverse is true...

Instead, I'd go for ....the reverse is almost true... or maybe, Now, it's almost reversed.

Are there such choices for this question?

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    I think "almost the reverse is true" is rather idiomatic, though grammatically, "almost" could only be an adverb. Thus "X is almost true" might sound better than "Almost X is true". That makes sense. However, "Almost nothing is true", "Almost everybody is talking about it", etc. are quite common. – Damkerng T. Mar 9 '14 at 14:05
  • @DamkerngT. Hey, that's nice. I din' think that way though! I wrote what sounded natural to me. – Maulik V Mar 9 '14 at 14:33
  • "Almost the reverse is true" and "The reverse is almost true" mean different things. – snailcar Mar 9 '14 at 17:04
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    @snailplane They are different things, I agree with you. I think in the context of the OP's sentence, 'the reverse is almost true' is applicable. In this case, truth cannot be absolute and hence the call for 'almost true'. But as to being 'slick and commercial', that can be absolute. So, 'almost the reverse' does not have the right ring to it. I am speaking only for this sentence. – Neil D'Silva Mar 10 '14 at 2:09
  • This looks like it might be better as a comment. – nxx Mar 12 '14 at 14:12
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There is a problem with a placement of the adverb 'almost' in both the alternatives given. I wouldn't say it is outright wrong, but these alternatives would have been more to the point:

Once American films looked slick and commercial compared to European imports; ... (A) now, the reverse is almost true. (B) now, it is the reverse that is almost true.

Having said that, I would mention that both options are grammatically correct. However, the first one is slicker (like the past American films the sentence mentions). We would use that in speech. The second one is more apt for formal writing in classic English. In any case, I would go with the first option for all my purposes.

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