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Thread: Inversion

  1. #1
    seba_870701 is offline Member
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    Unhappy Inversion

    Hi guys.
    Since I've been given a cold shoulder in 'Ask a Teacher' section, I decided to post my questions concerning inversion here...

    1) When - in what situations - do we use inversion with and when without auxiliary verbs? How does it function (with respect to word order)?

    2) When can we just invert the subject and predicate? When do we have to insert the auxiliary?
    e.g On a hill in front of them stood a great castle. --> why not 'did a great castle stay?'

    3) How and when do we use inversion with present tenses? I've encountered very few exaples of it in my learning so far.

    4) How do modal verbs affect the inversion? Do we just invert the subject and the modal?

    Thanks in advance for your contribution,
    Seba

  2. #2
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Re: Inversion

    Quote Originally Posted by seba_870701 View Post
    Hi guys.
    Since I've been given a cold shoulder in 'Ask a Teacher' section, I decided to post my questions concerning inversion here...

    1) When - in what situations - do we use inversion with and when without auxiliary verbs? How does it function (with respect to word order)?

    2) When can we just invert the subject and predicate? When do we have to insert the auxiliary?
    e.g On a hill in front of them stood a great castle. --> why not 'did a great castle stay?'

    3) How and when do we use inversion with present tenses? I've encountered very few exaples of it in my learning so far.

    4) How do modal verbs affect the inversion? Do we just invert the subject and the modal?

    Thanks in advance for your contribution,
    Seba
    Hi,seba_870701.
    I'm not a native speaker of English,(I'm just a Japanese English teacher living in Japan.)
    I understand how you feel. As you can see, there are so many new threads. They are started every minute(maybe every second). So, it is extremely difficult for appropriate respondents to answer your questions. They have no intention to give you the cold shoulder. They are busy responding to other threads. Or your query is too difficult to reply to, which I think is the case here.
    I know what you'd like to know(I'm also interested in those questions of yours.), but you'll need a grammarian or a linguist to meet your satisfaction.
    I hope somebody in this forum will help to sort out your difficulties.

  3. #3
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Re: Inversion

    Hi Seba!

    Answer:
    We use inversion with present tenses in interrogative sentences:
    e.g. Are you going there?
    Do you go there?
    declarative sentences:
    e.g. Little does she know about that.
    Here comes the sun.

    Modal verbs are used when making wishes [ and not only]:
    May she live happily all her life.

    in question tags:
    She must come, mustn`t she?

    in short answers:

    My friend would like a coffee. So would I.


    and in many more constructions than I have tried to exemplify here.


    For more information, go to:
    Inversion - grammar - central - British Council - LearnEnglish
    inversion english grammar
    Auxiliary verb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A. Inversion occurs in questions and interrogative sentences:

    e.g. How are you?
    Will you come to dinner tonight?
    Would you like to have a coffee?
    When did she come back from Ireland?

    B. Sentences starting with negative adverbs:

    e.g. Never have I been to France.

    C. Your example:

    On a hill in front of them stood a great castle. -ok
    On a hill, in front of them, did a great castle stand. – in my opinion this sentence is also correct and used when the speaker wants to emphasize the idea conveyed by him/her.

    Inversion is a complex chapter in English grammar and it should be learned gradually.
    If you have questions on this topic, please feel free to ask me again. I must admit my answer is not complete, but as I have already told you, inversion is a complex topic and a very large one as well.

    Regards,
    Teia
    Last edited by Teia; 16-May-2008 at 16:49.

  4. #4
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Re: Inversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Teia View Post
    Hi Seba!

    On a hill, in front of them, did a great castle stand. in my opinion this sentence is also correct and used when the speaker wants to emphasize the idea conveyed by him/her.
    Actually I don't think this particular type of structure with did is acceptable today, Teia. The most recent use of it that I can think of was made by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge(1772-1834):

    In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure dome decree
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
    Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea....

  5. #5
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Re: Inversion

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    Actually I don't think this particular type of structure with did is acceptable today, Teia. The most recent use of it that I can think of was made by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge(1772-1834):

    In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure dome decree
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
    Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea....
    Thank you for clarifying that. I was not sure but I forced my luck and knowledge as well.

  6. #6
    seba_870701 is offline Member
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    Re: Inversion

    Thanks both of you guys!!

  7. #7
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Re: Inversion

    You are welcome Seba!

  8. #8
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Not only did he get a cold shoulder but did he at last get enough info about inversions in english.

    were i him i wouldn't be satisfied with the answers.

    Had he got a grammar book 'would he have asked about inversions?

    In the future should you have any difficulties with the inversions you're welcome to drop on here again.

    Had you read these sentences carefuly you might have seen there is no "If" in any of them. Actualy "If" is hidden by my try to have used inversions talking about them.
    Having seen "If" five times in these five sentences would be boring for all of us.

    from a book:
    Inversion is a structure in which a verb or axiliary verb is put before the subject.

    In my opinion this definition doesn't describe inversions well enough.

  9. #9
    seba_870701 is offline Member
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    Re: Inversion

    Quote Originally Posted by e2e4 View Post
    Not only did he get a cold shoulder but did he at last get enough info about inversions in english.

    were i him i wouldn't be satisfied with the answers.

    Had he got a grammar book 'would he have asked about inversions?

    In the future should you have any difficulties with the inversions you're welcome to drop on here again.

    Had you read these sentences carefuly you might have seen there is no "If" in any of them. Actualy "If" is hidden by my try to have used inversions talking about them.
    Having seen "If" five times in these five sentences would be boring for all of us.

    from a book:
    Inversion is a structure in which a verb or axiliary verb is put before the subject.

    In my opinion this definition doesn't describe inversions well enough.
    Haha, you supplied us with quite basic infrmation about inversion here, but thanks for your contribution anyway.

  10. #10
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Inversion

    Inversion sometime change meaning of the sentence.

    it is here. you have asked me where is it and i have answered, it is here.
    but; Here it is. now i have taken it and i'm giving it to you

    he comes here (regularly, once a week)
    here he comes (he's at the door, just appeared)

    using inversions as you've seen the meaning's completely different

    putting "using inversions" at the front of the sentence it becomes dominant.
    some guys which write grammar books call it fronting.

    it wasn't so boring to keep an eye on her.
    keeping an eye on her wasn't so boring. ( keeping an eye on here becomes dominant in the sentence. not bad use, don't you think? )

    In the movie Once upon a time in the west, Charles Bronson said,'I saw three of these dusters a short time ago. They were waiting for a train. Inside the dusters there were three men.'
    So?
    'Inside the men there were three bullets.'

    The dusters were very important and not only did he used them in the front of a sentence but the complete conversation.

    Inversions are used to increase drama that has been happening.

    Closer and closer swam the sharks!

    to increase what you mean when saying to someone, or about someone or something..
    Imagine I've run into a tractor which was parked behind the corner and asked him what time was.
    The tractor didn't answer and hiting him with my boots and being angry I say

    How stupid you are?

    inversions are used to emphasis negative sense

    Don't go there. They will say, 'You wouldn't like another drink, would you?", and drink instead of you.
    Not only do they take a lot of your money but they leave you in the desert.
    Never have I heard such a nonsense. No-where would they take me to.
    As i already told you
    Under no circumstances should you go in!
    (under no circumstanses is fronted)

    that way you should go!

    no way i agree

    up to you
    Last edited by e2e4; 19-May-2008 at 14:36.

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