Across, on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro.

It seems there is some inversion-the bold part, if so, would you please show me a resource or site- or if you could, give me some example- to teach me more as to inversion caused by the following?



  • 1
    **Of you were I amazed is not a grammatical English sentence. It's so ungrammatical that it can't be easily fixed. On the other hand, your tree example is grammatical (if strange) as long as we fix the typo: if should be of.
    – user230
    Apr 9, 2015 at 14:43
  • 3
    I fixed the first sentence. You misquoted Hills Like White Elephants By Ernest Hemingway. (Thanks to Damkerng for finding the original sentence!) Please make sure to quote and cite your sources properly. Otherwise your questions should be closed. I removed the other string of words.
    – user230
    Apr 9, 2015 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


"Of" does not appear to contribute to any inversion here. It is part of the noun clause, "fields of grain and trees" - specifically, it describes "fields", by telling us what kind of fields they were.

You could change the order of "fields" and "grain" without harming the meaning ("grain fields" instead of "fields of grain"), but this is not inversion in a linguistic sense.

The subject, then, is "[fields (of grain)] and [trees]". In other contexts, this might be confused with "[fields of grain] and [fields of trees]" or "fields of [grain and trees (mixed)]", but we don't normally think of "fields of trees" unless we're talking about a tree farm - a farm in which trees are grown to a size that they can be harvested for wood or transplanted elsewhere.

"Across" suggests that this is locative inversion. Note that "across" and "on the other side" are redundant, repeated for emphasis. Both of them help to describe the location, and they occur prior to the main subject/verb.

As well, note that they do not necessarily describe "along the banks of the Ebro", as "banks" is a plural form that disagrees with "side". So the larger context probably indicates that "across" and "on the other side" actually correlate to a location or object from an earlier sentence. (The previous sentence says "The girl stood up and walked to the end of the station.", which suggests that the station - or more accurately, the region around the station - is what is "across" here. If you read the entire story, the word "across" appears multiple times to refer to the valley where the station is located.)

This sentence could be rewritten in a non-inverted way as follows:

Fields of grain and trees were across, on the other side, along the banks of the Ebro.

  • 1
    "Fields of trees" can also be "orchards". "Orchards" contain trees that are grown for things that they produce during their lifetime (such as fruit or nuts). When production of the fruit or nuts declines, it is common for the orchards to be bulldozed, and the wood to be sold as firewood.
    – Jasper
    Aug 13, 2018 at 18:40

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