How would an inversion <change the meaning>?

AliBadass

Senior Member
persian
What's the difference between A and B? Apart from the fact that B is formal and used for emphasizing.

A) You are not only smart, but handsome.
B) Not only are you smart, but handsome.
 
  • AliBadass

    Senior Member
    persian
    B is formal? That's a new one ........

    GF..
    In formal or literary writing, Rarely can be put first, followed by an auxiliary and the subject, to emphasize that something does not often happen.

    The sentence with the inversion sounds more formal or more literary.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    In formal or literary writing, Rarely can be put first, followed by an auxiliary and the subject, to emphasize that something does not often happen.

    The sentence with the inversion sounds more formal or more literary.
    There was no sight of Rarely in this thread before post #6. What do you mean???

    GF..
     

    colognial

    Senior Member
    Persian
    What's the difference between A and B? Apart from the fact that B is formal and used for emphasizing.

    A) You are not only smart, but handsome.
    B) Not only are you smart, but handsome.
    Something about B) doesn't sound right! Shouldn't it be (or, is it not in fact) B) Not only are you smart, you are handsome.
     

    dharasty

    Senior Member
    American English
    Something about B) doesn't sound right! Shouldn't it be (or, is it not in fact) B) Not only are you smart, you are handsome.
    I think I agree with colognial.

    And I prefer a different punctuation for A: "You are not only smart but handsome." or "You are not only smart but handsome, too."
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Something about B) doesn't sound right! Shouldn't it be (or, is it not in fact) B) Not only are you smart, you are handsome.
    Yes, I agree. I would also prefer also to be used:

    (A) You are not only smart, but also handsome.
    (B) Not only are you smart, you are also handsome.

    The position of not only in (b) makes the whole clause the scope of the negation, so another clause needs to follow.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Who told you that? There's no such rule.
    I think this is talking about sentences like "Rarely have I seen such effrontery." The same goes for other frequency words, which can be fronted to similar effect: "Never will you...", "Often have they...".
     

    AliBadass

    Senior Member
    persian
    I think this is talking about sentences like "Rarely have I seen such effrontery." The same goes for other frequency words, which can be fronted to similar effect: "Never will you...", "Often have they...".
    That's what I meant and what I'm trying to mention.
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I agree with other posters above who don't like B. I think that you want to have parallel structures with 'not only' and 'but' and on that basis B doesn't qualify. I would prefer the structures "not only are you X but you are Y' because I feel if 'not only' is followed by a subject and a verb, then 'but' should also be followed by a subject-verb combo.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top