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Sometimes inversion seems really complicated. Suppose the following sentence:

If there had not been modern communication platforms across the globe, there could have not been any scientific progress.

What could be the inverted form? Is the following correct?

had not modern communication platforms been across the globe, there could have not been any scientific progress

Does it make sense to use inversion in this case?

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First of all, the given example: "If there had not been modern communication platforms across the globe, there could have not been any scientific progress." should more correctly be phrased as:

If there had not been modern communication platforms across the globe, there could not have been any scientific progress.

The conjugated form "have been" is best kept together in such a construction. Besides that the negative form here makes the sentence clumsy, although not incorrect.

The suggested revision: "had not modern communication platforms been across the globe, there could have not been any scientific progress" is incorrect. "Been across the globe" here is not a possible form, its intended meaning is unclear.

The original sentence is already in an inverted form, because the auxiliary "had not been" is in the initial place normally occupied by the grammatical subject. a n0on-invertd and generally simpler form would be:

Modern communication platforms across the globe permitted scientific progress

or better yet

The use of modern communication platforms across the globe permitted scientific progress.

Still valid and closer to the original would be:

If not for (the use of) modern communication platforms across the globe, scientific progress would have been impossible.

The same basic idea could be expressed in many ways.

A comment suggested: "There had not been modern communication platforms across the globe, the scientific progress would have been impossible." This is incorrect in at least two ways.

First "There had not been" cannot be used to mean "If there had not been". It can only be used in a construction such as:

  • There had not been five thinkers before Lock who expounded this idea.

  • There had not been ten ticks of the clock before John returned.

Even in those uses "there had not been" is old-fashioned and now sounds affected. I would only expect to see this sort of thing in a historical novel set before 1900, or a text written at least that long ago.

Secondly, "the scientific progress" is wrong unless some particular piece of progress had been mentioned previously, and even then it is awkward. Here no article is needed or wanted. The above sentence could be rcast as either of:

  • If there had not been modern communication platforms across the globe, scientific progress would have been impossible.

  • Had there not been modern communication platforms across the globe, scientific progress would have been impossible.

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  • Thank you for your clear answer. What about this one? There had not been modern communication platforms across the globe, the scientific progress would have been impossible.
    – a.toraby
    Dec 24, 2020 at 3:57
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    No that does not wotrk either @a.toraby and I will add it to my answer with some explanation Dec 24, 2020 at 4:00
  • Thank you for great answer. Could you please take a look at this one? ell.stackexchange.com/q/269858/6341
    – a.toraby
    Dec 24, 2020 at 5:05

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