Search results for query: phrase inversion for emphasis

Bookmark: phrase inversion for emphasis
  1. entangledbank

    Only recently have I/I have...

    Inversion is used when the phrase in front has a negative meaning. 'Only' usually has. But 'only recently' can be viewed as positive or negative. Only recently I found out we worked for the same company. [emphasis: This happened quite recently.] Only recently did I find out we worked for the...
  2. homotopy07

    Very well do I remember ...

    I knew that, but (1) was the only inverted sentence that I had ever encountered that starts with "Well", and so I thought it might be a fixed phrase.
  3. entangledbank

    Never + subject-verb inversion.

    The normal word order is 5. 'I never saw'. You can bring an element to the front for emphasis, as in German. If it's negative, it requires subject-auxiliary inversion. 'I saw' has no auxiliary, so you have to add a form of 'do' in order to invert it, so only 1. 'Never did I see' is correct, out...
  4. Matching Mole

    With be verb or not

    The final phrase does use an inversion, and, as it stands in your original limited quotation, appears awkward. However, in your extended quotation, the reason for the inversion becomes clear. Note that the "There was" is repeated in the following sentence, which shows that the author uses it for...
  5. B

    Hardly had we entered (tag question)

    When we begin a sentence with a negative phrase or word to add emphasis, subject and verb are inverted so hardly HAD WE ENTERED the room when the lights went off. Similarly, NEVER HAVE I SEEN such an amazing film( compared to I have never seen such an amazing film) The inversion is for emphasis...
  6. Loob

    Way down in the valley to the west is the town of Freiburg.

    Can you explain, Caesats? I don't know what you mean by "all the adverbial phrases". Are you asking whether putting "way down in the valley to the west" at the beginning of the sentence adds emphasis to that phrase?
  7. lingobingo

    Back I go

    It’s an example of fronting, which means putting the most important word or phrase at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis. In this case it could apply to a situation where someone had already gone back and forth between two places several times, and was now stressing that it was...
  8. wandle

    not until later <did> the age begin.

    There is an idiom here, called inversion: a device we use for emphasis. That part of the sentence is the inverted form of the more usual: 'the computer age did not truly begin until a century later'. The phrase 'not until' expresses a time sequence. In general, that could equally well refer to...
  9. Andygc

    Very well do I remember ...

    No, it's an inversion for emphasis and is literary in style. It's not an everyday construction. Yes, but it sounds clumsy.
  10. S

    Following behind were dozens of townspeople.

    Yes, you are right. This is an inversion. Inverted sentence forms are used for emphasis. The writer is calling our attention to the idea that the townspeople were following behind by placing that phrase first in the sentence. It can be heard as heightening the drama to some degree. In this...
  11. lingobingo

    Careful as she is, she had an accident

    Subject/verb inversion is not applicable to this construction at all. Whether you use a noun or a pronoun is irrelevant. You’re confusing subject/verb inversion (as in a question) — e.g. not only is she careful / scarcely had we arrived than — with fronting a word or phrase for emphasis. Here...
  12. Vanloon

    Following behind were dozens of townspeople.

    Thanks a lot!!
  13. entangledbank

    it is very [rarely/rare] that one comes across a dead body

    I prefer 'rarely'. I would certainly use 'rare' with a displaced infinitive clause: It is very rare to come across . . . Here the infinitive clause is displaced from subject position, and what the main clause is saying is Subject is Adjective: To come across . . . is rare. What is rare...
  14. Jektor

    will you be able to see the spots on the sun

    The inversion here emphasises the part which is moved to the beginning of the sentence: "You will only be able to see the spots on the sun if you look through this dark glass" - no emphasis. "Only if you look through this dark glass will you be able to see the spots on the sun" - the inversion...
  15. taraa

    will you be able to see the spots on the sun

    Many thanks for the great explanation. :thank you: :thank you: :thank you:
  16. lingobingo


    In question 2, the subject and verb can be swapped around, but the construction is already poetic/literary in style — “came he” just makes it all the more so. In question 1, you’re talking more about fronting (placing a particular word or phrase at the beginning of a sentence for emphasis or...
  17. entangledbank

    does his work lose

    When a negative phrase is put at the beginning for emphasis, the subject and auxiliary are inverted. 'Only' counts as negative. He had never written so well. Never had he written so well. He had written only one such book. Only one such book had he written. As your sentence, in its more basic...
  18. Square100

    Such was the road building fever that

    Such was the road building fever that by 1810 New York alone had some 1,500 miles of turnpikes extending from the Atlantic to Lake Erie. Source: "Transportation in the United States". Link: Could you...
  19. JustKate

    inherent in

    Inversion is done for many reasons, and it's impossible to say exactly what the author had in mind here. One possibility is that the writer wanted to emphasize "social interactions" or "inherent," and one way to provide emphasis is to place the phrase you want to emphasize at the beginning of...
  20. entangledbank

    Not until ... did she

    I can't give it a single, simple name, but a negative phrase of time has been fronted to give it emphasis. The unemphatic version of this sentence is: She didn't start (doing) her homework until her brother had left for school. The negative is taken from didn't and attached to until; this...
  21. S

    I don't know what's the matter.

    There is a "rule" at work here (as mentioned earlier): in embedded question clauses/indirect interrogatives, there is no subject-auxiliary verb inversion. That type of inversion applies to direct questions. But this "rule" and all other "rules" in linguistics refer to "process;" how things...
  22. Sunny99

    Trying hard have to people

    U feel me! What i wanted to ask T_T i have got the concept of ‘inversion’ to emphatize a word in a sentence and even remind me of the word “empasis” and I was able to know the difference of them! Thank you for your elaborating!!
  23. entangledbank

    Exclamative(?) ve Relative clause

    An exclamation can have normal sentence order: 'We're having a wonderful summer!' Only the tone of voice, and the speaker's intention, distinguish this from a statement. So it's not the sentence type called exclamative, 'What a wonderful summer we're having!' The object can be fronted for...
  24. Dmitry_86

    I no sooner vs No sooner do I

    This phrase contains inversion (the word order in the first part of the sentence does not dovetail with the one usually used in English), which is normally used for emphasis. The word "than" rathen than "when" is the part of the construction "No sooner .... than ....", which may involve not only...
  25. J

    'Into these vehicles climbed the sick and elderly' [Inversion]

    Thank you both for your replies! So, let's see if I am right. The difference between Into these vehicles climbed the sick and elderly and 'At no time did the fires pose a real threat,' said one local man would be that at no time is negative whereas into these vehicles is not. Therefore, the...
  26. entangledbank

    To me was a book shown

    There are several points here. Yes, you can bring an element to the front for emphasis. So in your passive sentence, 'to me' can go to the front, giving (2), with no other change of word order: A book was shown to me. To me a book was shown. But Richardson's sentence is a couple of hundred...
  27. A

    does his work lose

    Thank you! Your examples were very clear. For me it is difficult to understand the meaning of "only", because I believed that the sentence wanted to express the idea that during his whole life, expect for the last 10 years, his work were stunning. So the whole expression "only in the last...
  28. T

    Lying there, I can unwind...participle clause

    That is a good point JamesM. I agree that fronting "lying there, the acupuncture needless all over my napper.." is done to add more emphasis to that part of the sentence. Without fronting those elements it becomes more visible that "lying there" and "the acupuncture needles all over my napper...
  29. skiedge1

    Have I got the 50 guys for you! [Why inversion?]

    Yes, you can use inversion to turn a regular statement into a very excited exclamation. This is often used when there's some disbelief about whether what the statement is describing is even possible, or at least unlikely. It's a way for the speaker to express a lot of surprise, as if they...
  30. J

    I think not

    WR Dictionary says that hyperbaton is a reversal of word order, and quotes “cheese I love”. The normal word order for that phrase would be “I love cheese”, and a reversal would be “cheese love I”. Which means that WR’s example disagrees with its own definition. With anastrophe, WR opts...
  31. PaulQ

    fall ass over ankles

    The commonest version of the phrase is "head over heels", which apparently started out in the 14th century as Top over tail A little later, it was recorded as It then became From here on, the X over Y elements are often informally changed - and not always logically (see your example) - for...
  32. ordinarydaniel

    Selfish does our life make us.

    Thank you! @Steven David :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
  33. F

    Never + subject-verb inversion.

    Welcome to the forum, Delvo. For me, "Swiftly and lightly he lept ..." is fine without the comma, but "so" plus an adverb requires inversion although it is not negative. "Elegantly she glided across the stage.":tick: "So elegantly she glided across the stage that I was mesmerized by her...
  34. Loob


    I agree with Kate that the reason why we prepose an ascriptive complement is to add emphasis. I also agree with Forero's suggestion that the length of the subject is important. I'd be much more likely to say Even better was her third book in the series about Harry Potter and his friends...
  35. S

    Selfish does our life make us.

    Yes, this is grammatically correct. It comes from this sentence: "Our life makes us selfish." And then we can add emphatic "does". "Our life does make us selfish." To add even more emphasis, we can front the sentence with "selfish", and we get your example sentence. "Selfish does our life...
  36. Scholiast

    who will be the replacement / who the replacement will be

    Greetings! As no-one else has attempted to answer this, I shall have a go. Both your sentences are perfectly comprehensible. There is a general principle that in (shorter) indirect questions involving the verb "to be" the verb goes to the end: "I don't know who is he" would be regarded as...
  37. neal41

    Only later she realized - no inversion

    'Only once' is an adverb with negative meaning like 'seldom'. Maybe 'only later' also has a negative connotation. The following explanation is from English Grammar Today on Cambridge Dictionary. I agree that other sentences beginning with 'only', like "Only at breakfast do we eat eggs." or...
  38. S

    But in none of his stories did Baba ever...

    Lots of things have been done to the original sentence, namely fronting, inversion, and negative polarity. To see this, let's consider an original sentence: But Baba never referred to Ali in any of his stories as his friend. Fronting moves "in any of his stories" to the front of the sentence...
  39. foxfirebrand

    whose business it is to screen out troublesome

    What we have here is an adjectival clause modifying "others," where the linking word "whose" modifies the subject of the subordinate clause "job." Structurally, "job" is the subject of a subjective complement clause with compound complements, "it" and "to screen out." I can parse this better...
  40. H

    Never has been vs. Has never been

    Hello Mr. T, Thanks for the link, though their explanation is more general than in depth (which is after all perfectly understandable). Interesting comment about Gulliver's travels. I'm not shocked by "little odious vermin" and I'd be interested to know how you interpret the phrase. The way I...
  41. Y

    whose business it is to screen out troublesome

    Thank you very much, foxfirebrand. :) 感激不盡(which means the same as 感恩.) That's my question, too.:p So it is...感激不盡!:)