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Questions tagged [inversion]

Inversion is the placing of words or whole phrases in the reverse of their usual order in a sentence. It can serve a grammatical or a rhetorical purpose.

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"Less known is that 48% of them are left handed" — "Less known" is put in front. Is this inversion possible because "less" has a negative connotation?

wordreference.com: (1) Everyone knows that China has a large population, less known is that 48% of them are left handed, lesser known is that 45% of them play the violin and least known is the fact ...
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"Of countless such cavils does a busy lexicographer’s working day consist"— Why does this inversion use "does"? Can I move "consists" forward instead?

blog.collinsdictionary.com: (1) Of countless such cavils does a busy lexicographer’s working day consist. The inversion here has the auxiliary verb "does" although, usually, such an ...
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Inversion in conditionals

We use "inversion" to sound more formal. 1 If you look for John, I will help. 1 Should you look for John, I will help you. We are also allowed use the conitnuous version: 2 If you're looking ...
Adam's user avatar
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"Is monarchy relevant in the modern world or should it be abolished?"— Is it correct not to invert the word order and say "or it should be abolished"?

an example from the section "More examples" on cambridge.org: (1) Is monarchy relevant in the modern world or should it be abolished? Is it necessary to invert the word order in the second ...
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"not until" and "only" - which part of the sentence is inverted and why?

In one of my grammar books, there are two examples how to use "not until" and "only" in a sentence: Not until the next day did I hear that I had got the job. Only at the end of ...
Ania's user avatar
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Imperative, subjunctive or inversion (far be it from me)?

I ran into a phrase recently (the context, use the cc button for subtitles): Far be it from me to make moral judgements. The way it sounded was: It's far from me to make moral judgements. I'm in no ...
x-yuri's user avatar
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"Will patrons kindly note that this restaurant will be closed on 17 July." — Why is it possible to use inversion here without a question mark?

cambridge.org: (1) Will patrons kindly note that this restaurant will be closed on 17 July. There is no question mark but the word order is inverted. How to explain the presence of inversion here? ...
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How inversion has been used in following sentence?

An extract from news paper, "In fact, during 1971 war, Pakistani warplanes were parked at Tehran Airport as a tactical backup had West Pakistan also crumbled like the East." "I know ...
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"But, says Pal, the associate professor, the people … are …" — If "says Pal + speech" is correct, is the small sentence "Said Tom, 'Hi.'" correct too?

I didn't know we can apply inversion in front of direct speech. I thought we can do it only after it. (e.g.: 'Hi,' Tom said. → 'Hi,' said Tom.) But here's the text: wired.co.uk: The next year’s ...
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Not only at the beginning of a sentence without inversion

There is one strange passage in Practical English Usage: In the rather formal structure not only ... but also, the expressions not only and but also can go immediately before the words or expressions ...
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How does inversion work when starting a relative clause? Am I wrong?

The other day I had to read a simple story and then summarize it briefly to my teacher. At one part I said something like: The little boy was scared, so he ran where was Regina. My teacher told me ...
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Meaning of "So, too, may be the fate of his seed"

The Da Vinci Code (movie, 2006) has this: Once the sarcophagus is destroyed, DNA testing will be impossible. There is no way to prove a living bloodline. But if you had to... would you do as councils ...
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Whatever and whichever usage

Whatever Alice offers him, Fred eats. Whatever you like, you may take. Whichever wing succeeded first would wheel inwards and help the other. Why the 3rd example does not have a comma after the ...
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Does "Aren't you a silly girl!" mean "You aren't a silly girl!"?

my example: (1a) Are you a silly girl! As I understand, (1a) means (1b): (1b) You are a silly girl! wordreference.com: (2a) Aren't you a silly girl! Am I right that, by analogy with (1a), (2a) means (...
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About inversion and exclamations

While reading Practical English Usage by Michael Swan, I found (p. 270, inversion section) that: In spoken American English, exclamations often have the same form as ordinary (non-negative) questions ...
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inversion without an auxiliary VS inversion with an auxiliary

I know that if a sentence has a negative connotation, inversion must have an auxiliary. But if a sentence doesn't have a negative connotation, there is example №4a with an auxiliary and there are ...
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Why is inversion used in "...than do apes in the wild"?

I wanted to know why there is inversion in the last part of the following sentence. Apes raised by humans seem to protect more frequently than do apes in the wild.
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"as were" is it inverted or something else?

Dildos and other sexual aids are frequently mentioned in ancient literature and depicted on pottery, while didactic sex manuals were popular, as were more general advice books such as the Ars Amatoria ...
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how much have you grown

a. My God, how you have grown! b. My God, how have you grown! c. My God, how much you have grown! d. My God, how much have you grown! Which are correct and natural? I am pretty sure (a) and (c) work. ...
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Sentence structure of "Two X do not a Y make"

Two cuts do not an EV price war make. Source: Electric vehicles defy price war after Ford and Tesla discounts The likely meaning is "Two cuts do not make an EV price war." But I've never ...
Henry Jones's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
183 views

You're from which country or which country you're from

1.You're going to school? 2.You're from which country? Are their structures grammatical? I think they're supposed to be: (1) Are you going to school? (2) Which country are you from? So which ones are ...
Sahil Laskar's user avatar
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Only two hours later, couldn’t I find my phone

I went to an amusement park. I enjoyed it so much. Only two hours later, when I needed to use my phone, couldn't I find my it. Is this sentence idiomatic? I mean when I was playing in the park, I ...
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Never did I see her again

a. Never again did I see her. b. Never did I see her again. I'd use (a) over (b). But is (b) natural? If so, is there any difference in meaning?
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Inversion or no inversion after "unlike"

Is it grammatically correct to use inversion subsequent to unlike? As an example, is the following sentence correct? Furthermore, unlike method A, does method B not require any additional processing. ...
Erfan Brv's user avatar
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Is adverb + adjective + inverted clause limited to "so" + adjective?

A typical sentence of this form is: link 1 link 2 1 So memorable was the event that we could not miss it. Can we extend and generalize this structure like these? For example: adverb + adverb + ...
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Whether to use comma in Inversion

We usually say : "John could earn enough money only in this way" without Inversion. We say : "Only in this way could John earn enough money" with Inversion. But my question is : ...
Mohammed Salim's user avatar
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'What N is' or 'what is N' (affirmative statement)

In one online course, I saw the following phrase: In this video, you learned what is data and you also saw how not to misuse data. My question is: shouldn't it be 'you learned what data is,' since ...
Arseny Aleev's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can I start an inversion structure with something other than the specific negative or limiting adverbs or use them as dependent clauses?

I have recently learned about inversion. In all examples I have seen, a negative or limiting adverb takes place at the beginning of the sentence like this: Seldom do I sleep early these days. But ...
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Inverting a sentence which includes 'never ever'

Never will I ever take up smoking. The test asks (not a homework) if it is correct or incorrect; I circled 'incorrect' but according to the answer key, it is correctly inverted. Wouldn't the original ...
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5 votes
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Is this sentence an inverted structure or a shortened form: "Not that grief ever ends. You learn to exist with it."

This sentence in bold is from a text in which someone tells about how the death of their mother has affected themselves even after years, although she tried many ways to cope with it. Here is the ...
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What is the difference between "Is it not wrong? And Is not it wrong?" [closed]

Recently I hear it a lot in different movies and it is bothering me a lot so I'll be pleased if you guys answer me😃
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all variants of writing the sentences where "as" means "and so" [closed]

As far as I know, if in some sentence "as" means "and so" this sentence can be written both with inversion and without it. Could you check my examples on this topic please: (1a) ...
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Child as he was / a child as he was

Child as he was, Tom knew a lot about science. Why can't " A child as he was" be used instead?
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1 answer
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What is the structure of "To do, that is ..." [duplicate]

Henry David Thoreau: To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. What is the structure of this sentence? I think it's safe to simplify to "To do, that is A". Is it a ...
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Is this sentence has an inversion or modifying of word-order?

I am reading an article Tbilisi on Wikipedia, there is a sentence that confuses with me. It was in the former Viceroy of the Caucasus's palace where the independence of three Transcaucasus nations – ...
Beau Garçon Idol Lucianus's user avatar
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1 answer
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should the first sentence still be inverted if it's a passive one in the structure Not only … but also?

As I've read in the Cambridge dictionary: To add emphasis, we can use not only at the beginning of a clause. When we do this, we invert the subject and the verb: Not only was it raining all day at ...
Sepideh Abadpour's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
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Only then are you free?

Quote from an awesome TED talk (The prison of your mind given by Sean Stephenson): When you love yourself, whether you're sleeping on a prison cot, or in a mansion, whether you have food in your ...
Wenfang Du's user avatar
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Is "associated a subset of Ω" grammatical in this sentence?

Let 𝐴 and Ω be sets, and suppose [that with each element 𝛼 of 𝐴 there is associated a subset of Ω which we denote by 𝐸𝛼]. Is "associated a subset of Ω" grammatical in this sentence? An ...
Bulhwi Cha's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can "(T)here you are!" be used as exclamation to a discovery?

I have often heard and always thought that people exclaim "(T)here you are!" when they, for example, found someone they've been looking for. So much so that I was pretty surprised to learn ...
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Could this part of the sentence 'If on that day, everything were as usual' be inverted as 'On that day, were everything as usual' and so on?

I'm making present sentences I like to practice my subjunctive mood. Several of the continuous sentences like that: If on that day, everything were as usual... If only he never came into my life... ...
Beau Garçon Idol Lucianus's user avatar
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190 views

What kind of phrasal verbs could be inverted to make an inverted sentence?

I'm learning the inverted sentences in English, actually I'm a new hand to this. There are one or two examples of inverted sentences in which the inverted parts are its phrasal verbs in my book. Away ...
Beau Garçon Idol Lucianus's user avatar
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2 answers
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"To Be" conjugation with Inversions?

Looking at the TV was/were John and Jane. Should "to be" be conjugated in the singular or plural form? My first thought was that it should agree with Looking at the TV; after all it comes ...
lil' barbussy's user avatar
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No way was I going vs No way I was going

Can you explain to me why there is so order of words in the sentence (from my book): I'd been asking Mom for a year to let me go back to Ridgefield, our hometown in Illinois, and see my friends. No ...
ZWA's user avatar
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Inversion with "to not have"?

I came across this quote and was intrigued by its grammar: "The soul would have no rainbow, had the eyes no tears" At first glance, "had the eyes no tears" this seems like a type ...
lil' barbussy's user avatar
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so + auxiliary + subject

Lily had a wonderful time and received a fine gift, _________. A. so had Lucy B. so did Lucy C. so Lucy did D. so it was with Lucy The given answer is D, but I'm wondering if B is also possible. I'...
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A confusing structure: verb+ing as ... do

I came across a confusing structure from Arthur Schopenhauer. Here is the text: Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel are not philosophers, lacking as they do the first requisite for being counted as such: ...
grammarian's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
304 views

The use cases and meaning of words that trigger an Inversion, namely "little"

I have encountered the following sentence in a class: little did I know such a person in my life Somehow it sounds "off" to me. I can't exactly pinpoint the reason why it is that way but I ...
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Some Unnatural Word Order Concerning Subject-Verb Inversion

As far as I know, subject-verb inversion involves switching the sentence subject and the verb when another item has to occupy the first position of the sentence. The following is an example from the ...
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Underlying structure of How + adjective + subject + verb

I want to understand the underlying structure of "How + adjective + subject + verb" ex) how selfish we are. Here's my opinion. As the form of indirect question, subject and verb inversion ...
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Run-on sentences as a result of not only X but also Y inversion?

I have a question regarding the usage of 'not only... but also'. Query #1: When does 'not only...(but) (also)' inversion result in a run-on sentence? I present two sample sentences below - to me, they ...
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