are we ever glad to see you

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kenny4528

Senior Member
Mandarin, Taiwan
Hi, I just read the following sentence from a novel:
Within seconds, a voice boomed through the amplifiers. "To the captain and crew of the containership, are we ever glad to see you."
The person saying this was a man on a nearly sinking ship. I can tell what he said was trying to exclaim the great joy to welcome the containership's timely rescue, but I don't get why the inversion was used in this text. Is it a way of writing the novelist using deliberately?
 
  • kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    Sounds like pure American to me. Not an unusual phrasing, but not one I would use!
    Thank you for the reply. By the way, if you were to use, how would you change the order of the sentence in your own way? My try:

    "To the captain and crew of the containership, we're ever glad to see you!"

    Does it work well?
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Thank you for the reply. By the way, if you were to use, how would you change the order of the sentence in your own way? My try:

    "To the captain and crew of the containership, we're ever SO glad to see you!"

    Does it work well?
    It is hard to imagine oneself into this life-and-death moment.

    Being very English and under-stating I might say:
    "Jolly pleased to see you, chaps!" ;)
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    To be boring, "am I ever [positive emotion] is a colloquial way of emphasising the emotion. It means the same as "I am so [positive emotion]" or "I am extremely [positive emotion]".
     

    kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    To be boring, "am I ever [positive emotion] is a colloquial way of emphasising the emotion. It means the same as "I am so [positive emotion]" or "I am extremely [positive emotion]".
    Thank you, I'll be no longer bewildered if I run across it again.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Am I ever sorry you were so confused.
    Am I ever glad to see you.
    Am I ever embarrassed about last night.

    Am I ever happy Nunty cleared up the grammatical niceties.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Actually, could you explain the grammar and derivation a bit more? I was trying to comment on this and found that I couldn't formulate anything satisfactory.

    The verb is fronted in this construction, so it looks like an interrogative structure. Yet nobody puts a question mark at the end. So it's not quite a rhetorical question, is it?

    Will it be possible to not have the first person (I, we) as subject?
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Am I ever sorry you were so confused.
    Am I ever glad to see you.
    Am I ever embarrassed about last night.

    Am I ever happy Nunty cleared up the grammatical niceties.
    As Copyright so tactfully pointed out, it does not have to be a positive emotion. Thank you!
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The verb is fronted in this construction, so it looks like an interrogative structure. Yet nobody puts a question mark at the end. So it's not quite a rhetorical question, is it?
    I suppose it's a bit like "Isn't she pretty!" "Don't you look wonderful!" etc.

    Will it be possible to not have the first person (I, we) as subject?
    I'm sure it is: try googling for "is she ever stupid".;)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Ah, thank you ever so kindly, Mrs Loob. (I can't quite bring myself to say, 'Am I ever pleased with your reply'.)

    So it is a kind of rhetorical question! :p
     
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