In no way has it / Not at all are you [negative inversion]

Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hi, there

I am struggling with negative inversions. I would like to know if I have to necessarily place the negative expression at the beggining of the sentence and then invert the sentence?

Like:

"In no way has it been long enought to make a pizza"
or
"It has in no way been long enough to make a pizza"


"Not at all are you as good as he"
or
"You are not at all as good as he"

Thank you
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I don't know why you would want to say these things in these comparatively awkward ways.
    They're not at all idiomatic.

    We'd say, for example (if I'm getting the meaning of your pizza statements, which isn't all that clear):
    There hasn't been enough time to bake the pizza.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    I don't know why you would want to say these things in these comparatively awkward ways.
    They're not at all idiomatic.

    We'd say, for example (if I'm getting the meaning of your pizza statements, which isn't all that clear):
    There hasn't been enough time to bake the pizza.
    Why aren't they idiomatic?

    The first situation: I ordered a pizza and I am waiting for it. Then a friend tell me to call them again because we have already been waiting for a long time (at least that's what my frind thinks), so I turn to him and say: Let's wait a little longer. In no way/Not at all ( has it been long enough to make a pizza) / It has not at all been long enough to make a pizza/ It has not at all been enough time to make a pizza)). What's wrong with those?
    Please, tell me what the problem is.

    The second one: I am just telling someone that they aren't at all as good as another person at something. Why can't I say "you are not at all as good as he/ not at all are you as good as he?

    Thank you
     
    Last edited:

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Because I can't imagine a native speaker saying them.
    Which one of them? Is it wrong to say "It has not been long enough to make a pizza"/ It has not been enough time to make a pizza"? Is that the problem? What I didn't understand yet is what makes the sentences strange. Could you tell me Parla? I would like to know what is exatcly wrong to make it right!

    Please, could you tell me?

    Thank you for all!
     

    newuser10

    Senior Member
    US English
    well, i'm a native speaker and i can imagine saying "there's no way that pizza's been in there long enough"
    or perhaps "you're nowhere near as good as he is"
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    well, i'm a native speaker and i can imagine saying "there's no way that pizza's been in there long enough"
    or perhaps "you're nowhere near as good as he is"
    And "It has not been long enough to make a pizza" "It has not been enough time to make a pizz"?
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Those are fine - it was the negative inversion forms that were being referred to as not idiomatic.
    Oh, now I got it. I thought you should invert verb and subject when usin a negative expression like "in no way".. Like : In no way could I do it/In no way will I forget it/. Like with "under no circumstances": "Under no circumstances/In no way will I forget your birthday". I thought you should do it in English.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Oh, now I got it. I thought you should invert verb and subject when usin a negative expression like "in no way".. Like : In no way could I do it/In no way will I forget it/. Like with "under no circumstances": "Under no circumstances/In no way will I forget your birthday". I thought you should do it in English.
    It's when you start the sentence with it that you have to invert the verb.
    In no way can I tolerate this.
    I can in no way tolerate this.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    It's when you start the sentence with it that you have to invert the verb.
    In no way can I tolerate this.
    I can in no way tolerate this.
    That's what I did: In no way has it been long enough to make a pizza". The problem is that "in no way" does not fit in my sentence, isn't it?
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    That's awkward-sounding at best.
    But look this sentence on BBC website:

    • 'In no way will I agree to sharing an office with Ben.
    Source: Learning English | BBC World Service


    Don't you invert negative sentences to emphasize some parts of the sentence? Like: Under no circumstances can you go out with your friends"??



    Is it better to say "You will in no way/by no means come in this house"?

    please
     
    Last edited:

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    I don't know why you would want to say these things in these comparatively awkward ways.
    They're not at all idiomatic.

    We'd say, for example (if I'm getting the meaning of your pizza statements, which isn't all that clear):
    There hasn't been enough time to bake the pizza.
    Parla, What if I put it this way: It has not at all/in no way/ by no means been time/long enough to make a pizza"?
     
    Last edited:

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    You can front 'in no way', but I think in your sentence, it might be more natural to just say 'no way'. For example:

    No way is it long enough to cook a pizza. (Without fronting: It is no way long enough ....)
    By no means is it long enough to cook a pizza. (Without fronting: It is by no means long enough ....)
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    You can front 'in no way', but I think in your sentence, it might be more natural to just say 'no way'. For example:

    No way is it long enough to cook a pizza. (Without fronting: It is no way long enough ....)
    By no means is it long enough to cook a pizza. (Without fronting: It is by no means long enough ....)
    And "not at all"? How could I use it?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    They are, but not at all cannot appear in front for me. It can stand alone, of course.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    You seem to have an excessive fascination with weird inverted sentence structures that people almost never use. I think the consensus suggestion here is that you should not try using them; just stick to standard structures to avoid sounding bizarre.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    You seem to have an excessive fascination with weird inverted sentence structures that people almost never use. I think the consensus suggestion here is that you should not try using them; just stick to standard structures to avoid sounding bizarre.
    But in essays and formal contexts I should use them, that's whu I want to know which ones are correct. I've seen inversions with "in no way" and "under no circumstances" very often, like this one on BBC website:"In no way will I agree to sharing a room with Ben"...

    Just one thing anuway: My sentences : l"In no way will you come in this housd" and "In no way has it been long enough to make a pizza", would they be better if i rewrote them like: "By no means will you come in this house/You will in no way(by no means) come in thsi house". and "No way/By no means is it been long enough to make a pizza"... Do they still sounf odd? If so, could you tell me what's wrong, if it is the fac they are inverted or if it is the fact I can't use "in no eay/by no means" in those sentences? Or are they wrong for any ohter reason?


    Please, Gienfarclas

    Thank you
     
    Last edited:

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    You haven't asked us about a single sentence that would be appropriate for an essay or formal context.
    Doesn't the one from the BBC website aply to a formal context?

    But anyway, Please Gienfarclas: Regarding my sentences: In no way will you come in this housd" and "In no way has it been long enough to make a pizza". Would they be better if i rewrote them like: "By no means will you come in this house/You will in no way(by no means) come in this house". and "No way/By no means is it been long enough to make a pizza"... Do they still sound odd? If so, could you tell me what's wrong, if it is the fac they are inverted or if it is the fact I can't use "in no way/by no means" in those sentences? Or are they wrong for any ohter reason?

    Thank you so much for all!!
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    You can front 'in no way' if it is not just used as an intensifier.

    Her safety was in no way compromised --> In no way was her safety compromised. :tick:
    You will in no way come here again. :confused: (I'd prefer 'You will no way come here again' --> 'No way will you come here again')
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    You can front 'in no way' if it is not just used as an intensifier.

    Her safety was in no way compromised --> In no way was her safety compromised. :tick:
    You will in no way come here again. :confused: (I'd prefer 'You will no way come here again' --> 'No way will you come here again')
    Could you give me an example with in no way?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    This isn't a matter of formality but a matter of focus or emphasis. You can be emphatic is formal as well as informal situations.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top