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    #1

    So smooth had it been

    "So smooth had it been that the odds,which had dropped to 22-3,rose to only 14-3 before the last of the big money was recorded."

    Why do we have the inversion here "had it been"? There is no negation.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: So smooth had it been

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "So smooth had it been that the odds,which had dropped to 22-3,rose to only 14-3 before the last of the big money was recorded."

    Why do we have the inversion here "had it been"? There is no negation.
    It's not just negative and near-negative expressions (rarely have I seen such a sight) that can introduce inversion. Inversion can occur:

    After so and neither in follow-on statements: A: I like this site. B: So do I.

    A: My children can't stand their new teacher. B:Neither can mine.

    In some types of conditional clauses:

    Had I known that, I wouldn't have left.
    Should you have any questions, pleae do not hesitate to ask.


    After as and so:

    So strong was the wind, that all but the hardiest stayed indoors.
    He was a freemason, as were his father and grandfather before him.

    Inversion is possible in other situations too, but that gives an idea.
    Last edited by 5jj; 01-Feb-2011 at 14:34.

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    #3

    Re: So smooth had it been

    There are many sites on the web that explain English inversion, for example Inversions in English Grammar

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    #4

    Re: So smooth had it been

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    There are many sites on the web that explain English inversion, for example Inversions in English Grammar
    Which is more common to say?

    "So busy have I been during the last that I didn't come to the party."

    OR

    "I've been so busy during the last week that I didn't come to the party."

    Which ine is more natural "during the past week" or "during the last week"?

  2. Tullia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: So smooth had it been

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Which is more common to say?

    "So busy have I been during the last that I didn't come to the party."

    OR

    "I've been so busy during the last week that I didn't come to the party."

    I'd come down quite strongly in favour of not inverting that sentence. It sounds very unnatural to my ear. I think inversion - especially where the subjects of both clauses are the same as in this example - has a tendancy to sound slightly formal, which doesn't suit what is being said here. It would sound more natural in something like this:

    "So busy had the Prime Minister been for the last week that he was unable to attend the dinner party at the Embassy."

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    #6

    Re: So smooth had it been

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    I'd come down quite strongly in favour of not inverting that sentence. It sounds very unnatural to my ear. I think inversion - especially where the subjects of both clauses are the same as in this example - has a tendancy to sound slightly formal, which doesn't suit what is being said here. It would sound more natural in something like this:

    "So busy had the Prime Minister been for the last week that he was unable to attend the dinner party at the Embassy."

    "The last week is not over yet." I'm talking to a friend on the cell "So busy have I been during the last week that I didn't come to the party I was going to go to." Possible? Is it for or during the last week?

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