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(In preparation)

Inversion

of

Subject and Verb

 

 

1 The most common use of inversion in English is, of course, in the formation of questions.

 

Are you warm enough?

Do you smoke?

Doesn't she like him?

Has Bill arrived yet?

Did they see the accident?

Were you accepted for the course?

Had she been told what would happen?

 

2 But the same sort of inversion takes place if certain words most of them are adverbs or adverbial phrases are put at the beginning of the sentence. This type of inversion uses the verbs be, do, have, should, will and would in the same way as they are used in questions.

 

3

 

 

 

Finally, remember that if you put a NEGATIVE adverb, or such or so, at the beginning of a sentence, you have to use INVERSION.

 

Negative, a quasi-Negative (only (rarely), hardly (ever), scarcely (ever), seldom, rarely, little etc.),or such, so. E.g.:

Never have I heard such nonsense.

Little did they realize they would never meet again.

So tired was she that she could not get up.

 

(Of course, when a Negative etc. is part of the subject, there is no inversion, e.g.:

Only those over 2 metres tall need apply.)

Inversion sentences take two forms.

 

(1) where the inversion is in the same clause as the Negative etc.:

Seldom did she miss one of his concerts.

(2) where the inversion is in the following clause:

Not until he returned home would she go to bed.

(In (2) the whole of the first clause is the Negative; it is an equivalent of Only then.) Another expression you may come across is

No sooner (had she got through the door) than (the telephone rang.

 

Watch out for tests where the inversion is already 'given' and tells you what the missing word must be The inversion already given in the next sentence makes only one sort of word possible.

Workers are no longer getting shorter hours. .........are trade unions able to protect their members as they were in the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) where the inversion is in the same clause as the Negative etc.:

Seldom did she miss one of his concerts.

(2) where the inversion is in the following clause:

Not until he returned home would she go to bed.

(In (2) the whole of the first clause is the Negative; it is an equivalent of Only then.) (1/2g) (2/2e) (3/2g) (4/2a) (5/2a

 

 

 

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