Hyperbaton = apposition? [inversion normal word order]

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Senior Member
USA, English
I came across the word "Hyperbaton" for the first time yesterday. Apparently it is a form of apposition.

Is this word commonly used in teaching languages?
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I cannot answer the question about teaching, but hyperbaton is not a type of apposition. It is a figure of speech in which a word is placed out of its normal order for emphasis. Sometimes it is described as "an inversion of the normal word order."

    Here is an example from this source:
    Adriana asks regarding men in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors:
    "Why should their liberty than ours be more?"​

    And another from the online Encyclopaedia Britannica.
    “Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike.”
    line 13 Canto II of Pope's The Rape of the Lock (1712–14):


    Senior Member
    English English
    I never used it when I was teaching English, though I did occasionally use the big stick method with my 'little people' students.
    Seems to me it's more likely to be learnt in literature classes than language ones. It reminds me of a load of names of figures of speech I learnt* while studying a monumentally tedious poem by Matthew Arnold (1822-88) in Eng.Lit.

    *And instantly forgot.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    A couple of examples from a lower register might be helpful:

    Him I can't stand; I like her though.
    Fancy it's not, but it's home.​

    I suspect that we are more likely to use this figure than to be able to name it.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    Thank you, Packard, for this thread.
    As Cagey said, we use this rhetorical technique all the time in everyday conversation.
    Our language would be rather flat without it. It would be like music without a beat.

    It is also extremely relevant to WRF.
    Some of my favorite threads from non-native speakers involve inversions
    of "standard" EN syntax -- which don't sound right to the ear -- but are extremely interesting.
    Often they're poetically exciting and provoke reflection about why one word order "makes sense" in EN and another doesn't.

    If I come across some examples, I may add them to this post.


    Senior Member

    I have learend that the inversion of the object is possible. Then, when both the object and the object complement are used, can I use the inverion like following?

    1a. I find him interesting. b. Him I find interesting.
    2a. I find what he is studying interesting. b. What he is studying I find interesting.

    I don't know exactly whether 2a is correct. But, if it is correct, Are both 1b and 2b are gramatically possible and correct?

    Thank you always~.
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