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Thread: "so was he"

  1. #1
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    Default "so was he"

    Please help me with this. This is from an English book.

    But just as his efforts to keep the tunnel's heavy posts in place were proving to be in vain, so was he unable to resist this one strangely persistent thought.

    I don't understand the meaning of the part of "so was he"?
    why are "was" and "he" are placed in reverse?

  2. #2
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: "so was he"

    Quote Originally Posted by pink dragon
    Please help me with this. This is from an English book.

    But just as his efforts to keep the tunnel's heavy posts in place were proving to be in vain, so was he unable to resist this one strangely persistent thought.

    I don't understand the meaning of the part of "so was he"?
    why are "was" and "he" are placed in reverse?

    "So" is used here to mean "in the same way" or "in a similar way". When "so" is used in this way with "be, have and do" or an auxiliary, the subject changes its place. The subject and the auxiliary are inverted, or the subject is inverted with a form of "be, have or do".

    He couldn't keep the tunnel's heavy posts in place, and he couldn't resist this one strangely persistent thought. In both cases he was "unable".

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...5308&dict=CALD

    Neil left just after midnight and so did Roz.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=8&q=so

    In the same way; likewise: You were on time and so was I.
    Last edited by Steven D; 31-May-2005 at 19:18.

  3. #3
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: "so was he"

    "So comes before "be, have, do" or an auxiliary when it's used to mean "in the same way" or "in a similar way".

    "I've got an enormous amount of work to do." "So have I." "So do I".

    If "also" "too" and "as well" are used, then there's no inversion.

    "I've got an enormous amount of work to do." "I do also." "I have a lot to do too."

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    Default Re: "so was he"

    Thank you very much!!

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