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I found this sentence from my dictionary. I wonder why "had" is before "a moment".

Hardly had a moment passed before the door creaked open.

I also wonder about other words like never, once in a while, scarcely, etc. when they are at the beginning of a sentence.

  • Are they adverbs?
  • Could you tell me about their grammar rules?
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    These are adverbs and adverbial phrases, yes. What leads you to believe they should not begin a sentence? – Tyler James Young Feb 12 '14 at 16:26
  • I believe they should begin a sentence but just want to learn grammar to know about their usage. – nkm Feb 13 '14 at 10:01
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There are a lot of sentences (statements, not questions) that have inversion (the subject is placed after the first verb-form).

Negative adverbs as never/never in my life/seldom, rarely - but also adverbs as hardly, barely (used to indicate that two events follow immediately one after another) have inversion when these adverbs are placed at the beginning of the sentence.
Never in my life had I thought he would do such a thing.
Never have I heard such insolence.
Hardly had he turned round when a shot fell.

But there are a lot of other sentence types with inversion. You find this topic in a good grammar if you look for "inversion" in the register.

  • Thank you so much! Ah I have to look for "inversion". It is what I want to learn. – nkm Feb 13 '14 at 9:59

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