1. ubal Senior Member

    spanish
    Hi everyone,
    I found this sentence and I would like to ask you if someone could explain the grammar to me.
    He gestured her to a chair next to a table on which sat the polygraph.

    I would write "sat" after polygraph.

    Thanks,
    Ubal
     
  2. L'Inconnu Senior Member

    US
    English
    Odd, I expected a native Spanish speaker to be giving me the explanation, not the other way around. I can't come up with any grammatical explanation. Most likely the rules are the same as those in Spanish, except that English speakers don't use subject-verb inversion very often. When we occasionally do, it strikes us as a stylish or poetic way to express an idea.
     
  3. Peterdg

    Peterdg Senior Member

    Las dos opciones son posibles.

    Edit: me crucé con L'Inconnu: Estoy de acuerdo con su comentario: es más común "on which the polygraph sat" pero las dos opciones son gramaticalmente correctas.
     
  4. grahamcracker Senior Member

    English-TEXAS
    The most common would be "...which the polygraph sat on." But dangling prepositions are not considered grammatically correct.
     
  5. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    Not only are both options correct, but there are situations in which placing the verb before the subject is preferable; for example:

    He gestured her to a chair next to a table on which sat the polygraph that he had brought from the office of the chief of the local police department, who was an old friend.

    In general, informal or spoken English tends to place the verb after the subject, but the language does have the flexibility to do the reverse in some cases if the situation calls for it.
     

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