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Questions tagged [subject-auxiliary-inversion]

For questions about sentences where an auxiliary verb has been moved to a spot before the subject. Also called subject-operator inversion.

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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 ...
Loviii's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
69 views

"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? ...
Loviii's user avatar
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0 votes
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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 ...
Kyamond's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
132 views

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 ...
tac's user avatar
  • 250
2 votes
1 answer
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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.
Tabadom2000's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Expressions with "and boy was I....." Idiomatic expression?

I'm having a hard time understanding this (idiomatic expression? maybe?) What does it mean, and why is it constructed like that? Why does the verb come first? Why is it Boy WAS I.. and not Boy I WAS......
studentxxy's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
43 views

why (have I unlocked) and not (I have unlocked) since it’s not a question?

A quote from Mel Robbins' book (The five second rule): “Only through action have I unlocked the power inside of me to become the person that I have always wanted to be“ why did she say (have I ...
Tom Jerry's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
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Should 'do' after 'than' be inverted in this sentence?

That is, Strangers stand further apart than acquaintances do is ungrammatical? I have often encountered inverted clauses after than, as, so in comparatives, so the sentence above seems - at least to ...
Lifeispicnic's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
133 views

What is it called when a grammatical statement is delivered as a question?

When a person says a grammatically correct sentence, but it's not clear from the way they say, whether it's a question or a statement, what's this delivery called? So when the sentence is written down,...
Eskay's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
72 views

"For no money would she leave" vs "For no money she would leave"

I read a linguistic paper saying that the two sentences have opposite meanings. For no money would she leave. For no money she would leave. The paper says... (1) means she wouldn't leave even if ...
Englishy's user avatar
  • 337
2 votes
2 answers
151 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
1 vote
2 answers
83 views

Which word order is correct, "explain why I am" or "explain why am I"? [duplicate]

I was trying to formulate a question yesterday I used the second sentence, however, I keep wondering if that was correct. Can someone explain to me why I am ...? or Can someone explain to me why am ...
Jair MG's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
67 views

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?
listeneva's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why does the sentence uses a question form, but it is put a period in the end?

People can watch dancing displays or can take part in different games. Nowhere, however, do they have more fun than in the Mexican town of Puebla. Why does the sentence in bold use a question form, ...
fanacc's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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the use of subject-verb inversion

The following quote is from Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser: What Drouet said about the girl's grace, as she tripped out evenings accompanied by her mother, caused Carrie to perceive the nature and ...
f6pafd's user avatar
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0 answers
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the number of auxiliary verbs after "as" and "so"

I'm interested how many auxiliary verbs can stand after "as" and "so". By "how many" I mean one (e.g. "would") or two (e.g. "would be") or three (e.g. ...
Loviii's user avatar
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Which question tag is correct: “do / don't / have / haven't they?”

"The children hardly have problems waking up early for school, _______?" do they don't they have they haven't they I am not sure which is the right tag question, also called Question tag ...
PL Roman's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is the final sentence grammatical? What is its meaning? [closed]

Is the final sentence grammatical? What is its meaning? In reply to the first question, some said that to know the right time for every action, one must draw up in advance, a table of days, months ...
Sam's user avatar
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Is the sentence "How many we had this morning" correct?

Let's say I had an exact number of tasks at the beginning of a day, and I forgot in the evening how many I had when the work day had started. What is the correct or more casual way to phrase that ...
user avatar
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2 answers
770 views

"should I" or "I should" in wh-question [closed]

Which of the sentences below is correct (plus explanation if possible)? If both of them are incorrect, in any way, please suggest me another way to say it. Which version I should choose to work with? ...
Ed59's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
628 views

Does he *has* a ball?

As we know, third person singular uses "has" instead of "have". But why do you say, "Does he have a ball? Yes, he has a ball."
Sam's user avatar
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0 answers
53 views

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
  • 345
1 vote
0 answers
25 views

Subject-auxiliary inversion in affirmative answers?

I came across a sentence as follows. Most teachers attest to the superior intelligence Ralph has displayed. Because of this, one of the teachers wants to register him in a local quiz show. When he is ...
Clayton's user avatar
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0 answers
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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 ...
Param's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does "would" come up here?

I've been confused about the following sentence. I can't find a subject and a verb, and I can't understand why "would" is here. Can anyone tell me the structure of this sentence? Only when ...
Inclu Cat's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
229 views

Why is inversion applied in some subordinate interrogative clauses when a subject is asked for?

Preamble The main concern of this post was discussed in this thread. However, both the OP and I were not convinced of the explanation in the existing answer and comments. I tried to talk to the author ...
Later's user avatar
  • 427
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0 answers
33 views

'Said distracted mum' vs 'distracted mum said'?

I write fairytale, and I wonder if I can write something like: "'It was strange.' Said distracted mum" or maybe the form "distracted mum said" has to be for every time? I'd like ...
Melissa's user avatar
  • 97
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

word order in a sentence starting with "Not even when"

Not even when the doorbell rang could Mary rise from the bed. Not even when the doorbell rang Mary could rise from the bed. Are both sentences correct? If so, is there a difference in usage between ...
Fra's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
110 views

Inversion in this sentence: "Nothing can/could I do..."

Is it possible to use an inversion like this: "Nothing could (can) I do in that situation."
inthenickoftime's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
67 views

"once in a blue moon" and "rarely"

Does "once in a blue moon," an expression that means "very rarely," also require inversion? Rarely does he work at night. He rarely works at night. Once in a blue moon does he ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
82 views

How does "had" change the meaning in the sentece "Only once had she put the doctrine of non-interference into practice, when...."

First I thought it was the phenomenon of "Conditional inversion", but the full sentence does not contain a hypothetical situation but a past occurrence, so that shouldn't be the case (Should ...
justanotherguy's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
949 views

“Can you tell me where did you buy it?” [duplicate]

Is it correct to say the following as an indirect question? Can you tell me where did you buy it? or should it be Can you tell me where you bought it?
Mrt's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
177 views

"With no jobs Bobby would be happy." and "With no jobs would Bobby be happy." What's your interpretation of these?

For this couple of days, I'm reading a book titled English sentences Japanese people always get wrong (Written by Toshiya Echizen), and have some questions regarding the interpretation of some example ...
Takashi's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
39 views

Which is correct, would you or you would?

What is one question would you like to ask a time traveler from 1000 years in the future? or What is one question you would like to ask a time traveler from 1000 years in the future?
Nilton Garcia's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
27 views

Do some subjunctive sentences mean the same with the sentences with the pattern " Too...for....to "?

The question is " Can I use inversions and subjunctives " in the same sentence ? ". In subjunctive sentence ,it says " It's so important that he get back home early " ,then ...
Johnny's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
1 answer
172 views

How can I apply inversions to sentences that include "because"?

Which of the following sentences is correct? Because did I love the dinner, I ate it to my full Or Because I loved the dinner, did I ate it to my full
Johnny's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
72 views

Is "When I got back home, did the lights go out?" grammatically correct?

Is the sentence: When I got back home, did the lights go out? grammatically correct, as compared to its inverted form: Did the lights go out when I got back home?
Johnny's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
1 answer
176 views

May he rest in peace. Why subject-auxiliary inversion?

I understand that this is a kind of a set phrase to express the hope that his spirit has found peace after death, but I don't understand why subject-auxiliary inversion occurs, and the "May" ...
Takashi's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Subject-operator inversion

If a sentence begins with a negative or semi-negative word / phrase, it causes subject-operator inversion : "In no other way can the matter be explained." "Hardly had I seen Sam when he ...
Sandip Kumar Mandal's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
98 views

'Not until three years ago _________ to work outside.' [(a) he began (b) he begins (c) began he (d) did he begin ]

'Not until three years ago _________ to work outside.' [(a) he began (b) he begins (c) began he (d) did he begin ] Hi guys, I know the answer to this question is 'd', but I've had someone ask me ...
Guy Robin Harcombe's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
248 views

Why is there inversion in "Whose gloves are these?" but not "Whose book won the prize?"?

I was told that we don't use inversion when asking about the subject of a sentence. I encountered these two sentences while surfing the internet. Whose book won the prize? Whose gloves are these? If ...
Alexander Chlebowski's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
989 views

Please tell me how much {I should / should I} pay for this

I am confused about the correct order of the modal verb (should) and the pronoun (I) in the example below. Generally, I feel that the sentence is a request, which implies it is a question. Must the ...
Sarmen's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
58 views

auxiliary in inversion without a negation

I thought we must use auxiliary verbs in sentences with inversion only when we have an explicit (not, never) or implicit (only if, hardly, little) negation. But I have come across the next sentence: ...
Loviii's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
57 views

Auxiliary verb at the beginning

The auxiliary verb can come at the beginning of a sentence and that wasn't a question like this It is quite possible that, had they been born into a life of privilege, they wouldn't have committed ...
Mah'moudFareed's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
64 views

Subject Auxiliary Inversion and the usage of 'ever' and 'never'

Please let me know if the following sentences is correct: 1- Have you never tried the Doritos Wasabi flavor? My question is related to using 'have' with 'never'. I've seen the present perfect with ...
alphabounce_1228's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
45 views

Ask about the reason of not giving money to people by banks

Suppose you live in a country, and an economical issue was happened, and the country's banks refuse giving money back to people ... what is the best way to ask about the reason? Why are not banks ...
user9152856's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
461 views

Not long before ... , inversion?

I got this question in my English exam this morning and have been wondering about it: So my questions are: Can "Not long before [something happened/an event/a point in time]" be seen grammatically ...
Flower Power's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
189 views

"Don't I just bet you were"

What does ""Don't I just bet you were" mean in the following? A: I was about to demonstrate how to use the tool. B: Don't I just bet you were. I'd appreciate your help.
Apollyon's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Can I ask a question without inversion, as in 'you are fine?'?

Is a verb in questions in English always in front of subject? For example, can I say 'You are fine?', or should I always say 'Are you fine?'.
lot kob's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Difference between 'I don't know how can I' and 'I don't know how I can'?

I am confused between I don't know how can I do this and I don't know how I can do this Can anyone explain difference between these sentences?
Imtango30's user avatar
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