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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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inversion: with great power comes

#1 below is an instance of inversion, i.e., the subject "great responsibility" follows the verb "comes." I'd like to know whether this inversion is optional; is #2 correct? With great power ...
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Is “Hardly…when” an idiom?

I know that if I start my sentence with an adverb such as hardly I must invert the subject and the verb,but do I really need to use only "when" afterwards?.For instance,is Hardly had I entered ...
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{be verb} + {subject}

Written by people more or less knowledgeable about the subject and about the history of technology, these accounts tend to focus on the unusual and the spectacular, be it people or lines of research, ...
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Usage of “at” in “… at the cottage just over my shoulder is where they had been growing cannabis”

Here's a British news report: And this is what I've transcribed: Well, last August when it was found that Neil and Yvette Hartley had...had been growing almost 90 cannabis plants, little did their ...
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Asking a question as part of a sentence

I was wondering what is the grammar rule to include a question as a part of a sentence? Here are some examples: Example 1: Can you tell what am I missing? vs. Can you tell me what I am missing? ...
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How to use “As……,so……”

Yesterday, I saw a sentence in my textbook. It goes, As people change, so languages change. To me, it also means: The language changes in the same way people change. However, what makes me ...
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May not only take… but also it MAY

In this inversion sentence, do I have to use "may" in the relative clause again? (Assuming you are not sure, that's why you are including "may" in your sentence) "Robbery may not only take ...
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subject vs subject-complement; inversion

Oxford Guide to English Grammar; John Eastwood; Oxford University Press 1994-09 Page 56 We can also sometimes put a complement in front position. They enjoyed the holiday. Best of all was the ...
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When is inversion between the subject and the object or the subject and the complement possible?

When is inversion between the subject and the object or the subject and the complement possible? For instance: I stood at the window watching the kids play. <---> At the window watching the ...
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Can an inverted sentence start with an adjective?

The following sentence is cited from "gone with the wind": A little aloof, as became an aristocrat, lay a black-spotted carriage dog, muzzle on paws, patiently waiting for the boys to go home to ...
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Does this inversion take any effect, “Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape.”?

Oh, you know Quirrell already, do you? No wonder he's looking so nervous, that's Professor Snape. He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want to -- everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful ...
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Inversion in affirmative sentences

The Guardian has recently published an interview with Kurt Volker, who stated that: “We can have a conversation with Ukraine like we would with any other country about what do they need.” Source ...
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Why is “are” placed in the middle rather than the end?

I saw the following sentence structure in an American textbook from 2010: Metal A and B are much more brittle than are metal C and D. Why is the "are" placed where it is (emphasized in bold)? ...
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questions: possible ways of asking what something does

What does your program? What does your program do? What your program does? What is it that your program does? Your program does what? Can anyone help me understand how these questions ...
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Why can the answer not be “if”? ___ the government in Greece postpone

____ the government in Greece postpone the debts of farmers, they can cope with the economic difficulties. a. could b. should c. only if d. if e. even if Why is answer "d" (if) not ...
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Question about WH questions

Here are some interrogative statements which are right/wrong (both in American and British English). Right- What took you so long? Who killed my friend? What disease took away my ...
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What type of construction is “In came I. I. Chundrigar…” where a preposition “in” is placed before the verb “came”?

In the red-marked line i.e. In came I.I. Chundrigar, a Bombay barrister, to join the Mad Hatter's dance. See preposition "In" is placed before verb "came". What types of syntax is it and what is ...
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Why is there a subject - verb inversion here? “Also under discussion…were the causes…”

From the Order of Malta's website (https://www.orderofmalta.int/press-release/migrants-refugees-rome-meeting-order-of-malta-european-project-managers/): "Also under discussion over the two days ...
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Neither nor inversion

Neither did she have cracks on her sides, nor was she beautiful. It's correct, right? But neither did she have cracks on her sides, nor she was beautiful. Is it gramatically wrong?
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What is the grammar of “my heart burdened be”?

I have some trouble understanding a line from the song, "You Raise Me Up" When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary When troubles come and my heart burdened be Then, I am still and wait here in ...
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A question about inversion in affirmative sentences

Which is correct? "In fact it is rather simple, just a story of two children. But in this apparent simplicity the book delivers a wonderful exposition of so great memories, ideas and dreams. or, "...
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Yesterday was the lawn mowed

I've just learnt about inversion and I'm not sure if it can be used in sentences which are in present simple or past simple. Can the two following sentences I made be inverted? Original sentence: ...
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The first thing I can see in this picture ‘are’ 2 people

The first thing I can see in this picture are 2 people I happened to see this sentence, and it says using 'is' instead of 'are' is wrong. As I looked up some grammar stuff, you can invert the ...
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Negative-polarity adverbs and inversion sentences

I asked a question here: Some questions about Inversion sentences Now, I know that certain negative-polarity adverbs with the main adverb are what triggers inversion, like "not only", "only when", "...
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If : second conditional inversion

teachers! I'd like to ask you something about conditional inversion. I'd like to know my sentence is right. I changed the sentence ' If you were able to see ...' to ' Were you able to see..' I ...
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Some questions about Inversion sentences

Source: https://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/inversion.html I found this, and it says "We only use inversion when the adverb modifies the whole phrase and not when it modifies the noun." What ...
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Is this inversion kosher? What is this kind of inversion called?

I didn't want confirmed what I suspected might be true The adjective and noun seem inverted in this sentence. Is it grammatical? What is this kind of inversion called?
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What grammatical concept is used here? (“A that would have p.p. had B p.p.”)

The following is an excerpt from RFC 2616: Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1: §14.13 Content-Length The Content-Length entity-header field indicates the size of the entity-body, in ...
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Identify piece of grammar: “Included in this section is a description of a typical system”

Here are some phrases: Included in this section is a description of a typical system. Acting upon a body are few forces which cannot be neglected. Connected with this phenomenon are also some other ...
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Question about inversion of adjective

Strong as he was he could beat his opponent. I saw the above sentence on a website which explains the usage of inversion. It gives the previous example. Is this equal to: Though he was strong he ...
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Inversion with Neither…nor

In my schoolwork, I stumbled upon this sentence that needed rewriting. The guests didn't have food or drink; neither did the hostess . Here's my take Neither did he nor the hostess have any ...
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Should I write “Only when … I” or “Only when … did I” in the following sentence?

Only when my mental capabilities returned, like a slow-motion boomerang, did I absorb the implication of the situation. Do I need the "did" in the sentence above? Why or why not? Long ago, someone ...
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Why is the following sentence in inversion style wrong?

1- Hadn’t he seen the car coming? 2- Hadn’t he seen the car coming, he would have been killed. 3- Had he not seen the car coming, he would have been killed. Why is the sentence number 2, in ...
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As and though inversion

Fail in the election as he did,he became famous for his fiery speech against slavery. Dislike him as we may,we must acknowledge his greatness Are these two sentences correct? Is it normal or ...
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Subject inversion in the correlative comparative construction

Found this line in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (ch.13 #4.6) The more conditions I impose, the less likely is he to agree. The chapter doesn't say why the inversion was used here. ...
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“Who I really am” VS. “who I am really”?

If i said Do you know who I really am? Could we move “really” after am to go like: Do you know who I am really? Is the inversion happened in the second sentence acceptable?
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“Had he not stamped on that money”?

Source Because, Lise, had he not stamped on that money, but taken it instead, then, on arriving home, after an hour or so he would have started to weep over his... What is the kind of this “...
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Is the inversion in the mentioned context idiomatic/grammatical?

But, in either of the above ways is intentionality defined, why not to use the previously mentioned criteria to identify an intentional crime? In the above sentence "is" is put before the subject....
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For what purposes is inversion used?

While English seems one of the languages most rigid in word order, there are many types of inversion. I know some patterns into which they can be categorized; interrogative sentence, subjunctive mood, ...
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Can I say “Look, the bus comes” to mean “Look, here comes the bus”?

I know if I add the word "here" at the end as "Look, the bus comes here", it won't sound right, but what if I simply say "Look, the bus comes"? Does it mean the same as "Look, here comes the bus"? ...
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“Only if” + comma + inversion

Consder the sentence: Only if the framework is intuitive(,) can we proceed with formalizing and exploring its variations. Do we need a comma? Can we omit it? Is the inverted word order correct ...
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528 views

Using “Always” in inversion

In a test I had earlier, there in this sentence : ___ does he come home before 11 AM for he does not want to hear his mother's complaint There are two answers : "Never" and "Always", with the ...
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Inversion rule in conditional sentence type 1

As you know, we can use inversion rule in conditional sentence type 1: for instance: If you should need something, please call me. → Should you need something, please call me. Now, can I ...
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322 views

Isn't anyone VS Is not anyone

I'm asking on behalf of a friend who's learning English. Consider the following sentences: A: "Isn't anyone coming to class?" and B: "Is not anyone coming to class" A sounds correct and natural to ...
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Any difference btw 'Aren't/Don't they/we/you …' and 'Are/Do they/we/you not …'

As in title, Don't they know it? Do they not know it? Are these sentence the same? or the second sentence is plain wrong? Is there any case where they are different?
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Long-distance movement and Inversion in embedded questions with wh-words in situ

As I know, we can say: He asks whether she bought what? He asks what did she buy? But we cannot extract "what" from the embedded question introduced by "whether": What does he ask ...
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in his ears hammered still the harsh notes – how can ears hammer harsh notes?

While I read the novel 'Rain', one sentence looks awkward to me. the sentence is below in his ears hammered still the harsh notes of the mechanical piano I think it means that he heard the harsh ...
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Is it inversion for relative clause after ''verb''?

Near the beginning of the story, something happens that starts the action rolling. I found the writer put "relative clause after verb'' to avoid long subject. What I want to know is ''Is this writing ...
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About A Kind of Usage of Auxiliary or Helping Verbs

The question that I will ask maybe was asked, I don't know.Anyway, my question is: Why do we write auxiliary or helping verbs at the beginning of a sentence? What are the purposes of it? For example ;...
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Is this use of 'not only' rather an inversion?

I have confusion of positioning not only whether or not it should be put after/before the am/are/is. Having said that, I went to read related topics on some grammar related sites. I found that most ...