1. In the distance could be seen the purple mountains.

  2. In the distance the purple mountains could be seen.

I know sentence 1 is right, but can you tell me whether sentence 2 is right.

  • Sentence 2 sounds better than sentence 1. Why do you think either one is right or that one is more right than the other? – Mixolydian Mar 19 at 14:10
  • @Mixolydian Because I saw a grammer books which says that 'In the distance' should + inverted sentences. – Y. zeng Mar 19 at 14:14

Neither sentence is ungrammatical. Sentence 1 emphasizes the distance, and might be particularly appropriate when used to contrast with something seen close up.

Looking out the window, the plum tree seemed to fill the yard. In the distance could be seen the purple mountains.

Sentence 2 is more neutral, in my opinion. It gives the mountains roughtly equal emphasis with the distance.

But an inverted structure is not at all required with the phrase "in the distance".

The purple mountains were visible in the distance.

is a perfectly grammatical and normal sentence. There is nothing at all wrong with it, and indeed it sounds more usual to me than either 1 or 2 from the question.

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