So inversion: "So has he." vs. "So does he."

Exp

Senior Member
Japanese
Let me restate my question to clarify:
  1. Tom has lots of books, and so does his father.
  2. Tom has lots of books, and so has his father.
Most so-inversion sentences (the ones meaning "too/as well") have the So + Auxiliary/Be + Subject order. I assume that this is the standard way to form this construction. But occasionally I encounter inverted sentences using a regular verb rather than an auxiliary (the So + Verb + Subject order), as shown in the sentence #2 above (the verb "has" here is a regular verb meaning possession and not an auxiliary one used in present-perfect sentences). So my question is, is this an exceptional case with the verb "have"? I know that there is an old use of have in forming interogative sentences like "Have you a pen?" (rather than "Do you have a pen?"). Or could this happen with other verbs as well? Ex.:
  • Tom speaks French, and so does his son.
  • Tom speaks French, and so speaks his son.

----

ORIGINAL POST:

In what case do you move the regular verb (rather than an auxiliary verb) to the beginning of a sentence to form so-inversion?

Is it necessary or optional?

  • Tom has lots of books, and so has his father.
  • Tom has lots of books, and so does his father.
  • So began the nation.
  • So did the nation.
  • So spoke he.
  • So did he.
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
  • Thus did Zarathustra.
 
Last edited:
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    You're confusing two different phenomena, I think.

    The replacement of the verb by has/does/etc. is only possible if there is already a verb in the first part of the sentence to replace. So Tom has lots of books, and so does his father is OK because the verb has already been stated: Tom has...

    In your final three examples there is no earlier verb to replace, so they don't make sense. That rules out your options in blue.

    So the question relates only to your examples in red, and the answer is that these are inversions for historical or dramatic effect - they do not occur in everyday usage. (The final one is perticularly unusual, since it's usually quoted as Thus Spake Zarathustra, an archaic form of the verb to speak.)
     

    Exp

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    The replacement of the verb by has/does/etc. is only possible if there is already a verb in the first part of the sentence to replace. So Tom has lots of books, and so does his father is OK because the verb has already been stated: Tom has...
    Then I'm interested to know whether the "verb-by-auxiliary-verb" replacement is always possible with any verbs in inverted sentences as in ordinary sentences (not the purpose of using inversion in general). Since I find many more instances of inverted sentences using an auxiliary verb, I was rather wondering if you can use a regular verb in place of the inverted auxiliary verb.

    I can find examples with precedent sentences if necessary:
    • “.... Ah ! Malchi, how can I reward thee !" So spoke Baruch. (→So did Baruch)
    • After dinner, the two kings with their band entered the field on foot before the barriers, and so began the fight, which continued battell after battell, till all the commers were answered. (→So did the fight)
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    But there's no verb to replace here!
    • “.... Ah ! Malchi, how can I reward thee !" So spoke Baruch. :tick: [Archaic effect.] (→So did Baruch :cross: Did what? reward?)
    • After dinner, the two kings with their band entered the field on foot before the barriers, and so began the fight :tick: [archaic effect], which continued battell after battell, till all the commers were answered. (→So did the fight :cross: Did what? Entered the field on foot? )
    Let's make the two cases clear. They are quite different:

    A. Inversion for archaic effect:
    E.g. Thus saith the Lord... Long thrived the good yeoman... Thus began the battle... The only common examples in modern English are here/there comes/goes. Here comes the bride... There go my chances of a medal...
    B. Inversion and replacement to avoid repeating the same verb:
    E.g. I like eggs and so does he. (= and he also likes eggs.) Tom has lots of books, and so does his father. (= and his father also has lots of books). You don't believe the earth is flat and neither do I. (= and I don't believe it either).​
     

    Exp

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    But there's no verb to replace here!A. Inversion for archaic effect:
    E.g. Thus saith the Lord... Long thrived the good yeoman... Thus began the battle... The only common examples in modern English are here/there comes/goes. Here comes the bride... There go my chances of a medal...​
    Then can you use this construction with any verbs? (Is the use not limited to a certain group of verbs?)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I can find examples with precedent sentences if necessary:
    • “.... Ah ! Malchi, how can I reward thee !" So spoke Baruch. (→So did Baruch)
    • After dinner, the two kings with their band entered the field on foot before the barriers, and so began the fight, which continued battell after battell, till all the commers were answered. (→So did the fight)
    I am not sure what you have done in the above "example" [which has several errors] nor what it is supposed to demonstrate.

    So spoke Baruch.
    is not replaceable by (→So did Baruch) and neither is till all the commers were answered. replaceable with (→So did the fight).

    You are confusing an auxiliary verb with a pro-verb. A pro-verb is so called because it has similarities with a pronoun. A pro-verb is a verb that has a clear referent. A pro-verb is used in place of a more accurate or descriptive verb.

    1.
    A: Who managed to jump over the fence?"
    B: "John jumped over the fence and Andrew did" -> and Andrew jumped over the fence. "Did" is a pro-verb.

    2. I bought the same item that John did. -> did = bought.

    In both examples, the verb that is replaced by "did" is obvious: did has a referent.

    Compare pronouns:

    I have a cat and a dog. It eats peanuts. -> the pronoun "it" cannot be used as it has no clear referent (Does "it" mean the cat or the dog?)
    I have a dog. It eats peanuts. :tick: It has the clear referent of "dog".
     

    Exp

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    1. Tom has lots of books, and so has his father.
      = So does his father. / Tom's father also has lots of books.
      "Does so" refers to the act of having lots of books.

    2. “.... Ah ! Malchi, how can I reward thee !" So spoke Baruch.
      = Baruch spoke so.
      "So" refers to the content of the speech.

    3. After dinner, the two kings with their band entered the field on foot... and so began the fight.
      = The fight began so, began in such a manner.
      "So" refers to the manner in which the fight began, which is described in the prior sentences.
    I assume that the nature of inversion in sentence 1 is different from that in sentence 2 and 3.

    Anyway, is there any restrictions as to the kinds of regular verbs (have, speak, begin, etc.) that could be used in these constructions? (Or can you use any verbs as far as they are appropriate in the given context?)
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    So do/have I = I do/have too/as well

    So/thus began his transformation = His transformation began in this way = This is how his transformation began​

    (solely in reply to the OP, since I haven’t read the other posts)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    (solely in reply to the OP, since I haven’t read the other posts)
    The OP's question is unclear - I was misled - the question seems, as you point out, to be about "so" and "thus" and has little or nothing to do with inversion or pro-verbs.
     

    Exp

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Let me restate my question to clarify:
    1. Tom has lots of books, and so does his father.
    2. Tom has lots of books, and so has his father.
    Most so-inversion sentences (the ones meaning "too/as well") have the So + Auxiliary/Be + Subject order. I assume that this is the standard way to form this construction. But occasionally I encounter inverted sentences using a regular verb rather than an auxiliary (the So + Verb + Subject order), as shown in the sentence #2 above (the verb "has" here is a regular verb meaning possession and not an auxiliary one used in present-perfect sentences). So my question is, is this an exceptional case with the verb "have"? I know that there is an old use of have in forming interogative sentences like "Have you a pen?" (rather than "Do you have a pen?"). Or could this happen with other verbs as well? Ex.:
    • Tom speaks French, and so does his son.
    • Tom speaks French, and so speaks his son.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think you may have picked the only transitive verb (have) that can be used in such a situation rather than “do” as an auxiliary?

    Tom has a cold and so has his wife :tick: / Tom has a cold and so does his wife :tick:
    Tom likes cheese and so likes his wife :cross: / Tom likes cheese and so does his wife :tick:
    Tom plays football and so plays his son :cross: / Tom plays football and so does his son :tick:
    Tom drives a motorbike and so drive I :cross: / Tom drives a motorbike and so do I :tick:
     

    Exp

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I think you may have picked the only transitive verb (have) that can be used in such a situation rather than “do” as an auxiliary?

    Tom has a cold and so has his wife :tick: / Tom has a cold and so does his wife :tick:
    Tom likes cheese and so likes his wife :cross: / Tom likes cheese and so does his wife :tick:
    Tom plays football and so plays his son :cross: / Tom plays football and so does his son :tick:
    Tom drives a motorbike and so drive I :cross: / Tom drives a motorbike and so do I :tick:
    What about other intransitive/linking verbs such as seem, become, and get?
     
    Top