Can I say :

A flask is upside down conical in shape.

The letter M is upside down the letter W in shape.

The product is shaped like the letter V but upside down.

The product is shaped like upside down the letter V.

I think upside down is adverb so I was wondering how it sounds when it is used in this way?

  • The letter M is shaped like an upside-down W – that's how I'd write it. (The adjective form is often hyphenated.)
    – J.R.
    Apr 26, 2016 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


If it helps, you can use the single word "inverted" in place of "upside down". So, that would be:

"A flask is an upside down cone in shape." (okay)
"A flask is an upside down cone" / "A flask is an inverted cone" (better)

"The letter M is an upside down letter W in shape" (okay)
"The letter M is an inverted 'W'" (better)

"The product is shaped like the letter V but upside down." <- This is fine
"The product is shaped like an upside down letter V"

  • 1
    "Inverted" is certainly a valid alternative, but I wouldn't say it's better.
    – Jay
    Apr 25, 2016 at 13:39
  • Let me just add: "Upside down" is an adjective phrase, not an adverb. It modifies a noun.
    – Jay
    Apr 25, 2016 at 13:40
  • @Jay Thank you for your feedback. I looked it up again and noticed upside down is both adverb and adjective.
    – Mrt
    Apr 25, 2016 at 14:06
  • Let me re-phrase. It is an adjective phrase as you are using it here, and I think it is USUALLY used as an adjective. Yes, you could say, "The boat was floating upside down", that would be using it as an adverb. But I think that's less common.
    – Jay
    Apr 25, 2016 at 14:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .