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Thread: only after-when

  1. #1
    aysaa is offline Senior Member
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    Default only after-when

    Hello,

    1) You can play only after you have finished your homework.

    a-Only after you have finished your homework can you play.

    b-Only after you have finished your homework, you can play.

    2) I am in no way related to the suspect.

    c-On no way am I related to the suspect.

    d-On no way I am related to the suspect.

    3) He called me only when he needed some help.

    e-Only when he needed some help did he call me.

    f-Only when he needed some help, he called me.

    Could you please tell me if the alternative sentences 'a-b-c-d-e-f' are correct or not.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    SlickVic9000's Avatar
    SlickVic9000 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: only after-when

    (not a teacher)

    1) I'd stick with A.

    2) Neither are correct. If you were to omit "on" both would be acceptable.

    3) I'd use E.

    We tend to reverse the word order of the main clause when making an emphatic statement.
    Last edited by SlickVic9000; 14-Nov-2012 at 18:33.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: only after-when

    Quote Originally Posted by SlickVic9000 View Post
    2) Neither are correct. If you were to omit "on" both would be acceptable.
    I prefer 'In no way ...'
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #4
    aysaa is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: only after-when

    I actually want to ask what if I don't reverse the word order in the second part.

    Only after you have finished your homework.........

    ................................................., can you play.
    or
    ................................................., you can play.

  5. #5
    SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    Default Re: only after-when

    (Not a Teacher)

    I don't know for certain if the second sentence is wrong, but I find the first sentence more natural sounding. If you were to put "can you play" at the beginning, it wouldn't make any sense at all. Then you would have to use normal word order.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: only after-when

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    I completely agree with SlickVic9000. The inverted worder sounds much better and so I would also use the first sentence.

    I can't find a reference right now, but I have found two similar sentences on this site.

    Only after you helped me I was able to solve the problem.
    Only after you helped me was I able to solve the problem.

    As you see, the inverted word order is deemed correct.

    Edit. I've found more examples:

    When only after, only if, only in this way etc. are placed at the beginning of the sentence for rhetorical effect, the subject and auxiliary are inverted:
    Only after lunch can you play. (You can play only after lunch.)
    Only after finishing your homework can you play. (You can play only after finishing your homework.)
    Only after you have finished your homework can you play. (You can play only after you have finished your homework.)

    http://www.grammaring.com/only-after-only-if-only-in-this-way-etc-not-until
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 15-Nov-2012 at 01:12. Reason: more examples

  7. #7
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    Default Re: only after-when

    We invert after negative and near-negative words and phrases:

    Never have I seen ...
    Not since my father died have I felt ..
    Not only does he drink ...
    Nowhere in the world can you find ...

    Hardly had he sat down ...

    Only when/after can carry the negative idea of not until.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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