Wolf's trot broke into a run, wider and wider were the leaps he made.

(Source: Jack London, Brown Wolf)

In this sentence, why does it use inversion "were the leaps he made" or maybe it's a non-restricted attributive clause?

  • does it equal "Wolf's trot broke into a run,wider and wider which were the leaps he made"?
    – 오준수
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:22

1 Answer 1


The second part could be in normal word order: the leaps he made were wider and wider. The author changed the word order to make his style livelier.

  • It's an idiomatic style thing - he could have written 'faster and faster he went' (as opposed to 'He went fast and faster'). You'd only ever use this in writing - you'd almost never speak like this unless relating a story or similar.
    – Steve Ives
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:57

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