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    #1

    In no time did they take action

    And in no time did they take action.
    And in no time they took action.

    Are both sentences good English? Thank you in advance.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: In no time did they take action

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    And in no time did they take action.
    And in no time, they took action.

    Are both sentences good English? Thank you in advance.
    No. The first could easily be misinterpreted as "And at no time did they take action" which means the exact opposite.
    Besides, the main clause describes a positive action, and there's no reason to invert the sentence.

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    #3

    Re: In no time did they take action

    Thanks a lot, Raymott.

    After I read your reply, I searched the Internet, and found that Standard English and Indian Usage--Vocabulary and Grammar by J. Sethi has a sentence like this: In no time did they vacate the house (=They vacated the house in no time). Could it be possible that this inversion is regional usage?

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    #4

    Re: In no time did they take action

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Thanks a lot, Raymott.

    After I read your reply, I searched the Internet, and found that Standard English and Indian Usage--Vocabulary and Grammar by J. Sethi has a sentence like this: In no time did they vacate the house (=They vacated the house in no time). Could it be possible that this inversion is regional usage?
    It's possible that they say that in India. I've never heard this usage.

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    #5

    Re: In no time did they take action

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It's possible that they say that in India. I've never heard this usage.
    I haven't heard it either.

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    #6

    Re: In no time did they take action

    In no time was the president aware of what was happening.

    Is this sentence correct?

    Does it mean that president was aware of what was happening very soon?

    If it does then, I think , there should be no inversion structure.

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    #7

    Re: In no time did they take action

    Quote Originally Posted by david11 View Post
    In no time was the president aware of what was happening.

    Is this sentence correct?

    Does it mean that president was aware of what was happening very soon?

    If it does then, I think , there should be no inversion structure.
    It means the opposite. It means the president was never aware. There existed no time in which the president was aware. (I'd say "at no time" not "in no time" but that doesn't change the negation implied.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: In no time did they take action

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    (I'd say "at no time" not "in no time" but that doesn't change the negation implied.)
    In no time also means a relatively short time .

    So, can't it be meant as President was( or made) aware of what was happening in a relatively short time.?

    If it can then shouldn't it be wrong to use inversion at all?

    And what is the difference between in no time and at no time?
    Last edited by david11; 29-Jan-2012 at 15:57. Reason: Left be after can't it

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    #9

    Re: In no time did they take action

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    It means the opposite. It means the president was never aware. There existed no time in which the president was aware. (I'd say "at no time" not "in no time" but that doesn't change the negation implied.)
    That must be a regional usage. "In no time" is a common phrase used to mean "Very soon, without delay." - "He answered my post in no time (immediately)".
    david11 is correct. Without inversion (and with a comma), the sentence would be:
    "In no time, the president was aware of what was happening." That is, the president was very quickly aware of what was happening.
    Don't you use that phrase in US?

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    #10

    Re: In no time did they take action

    Quote Originally Posted by david11 View Post

    And what is the difference between in no time and at no time?
    "At no time" means 'never'. The following clause is inverted
    "In no time, " means "immediately, without delay, quickly". The following clause is not inverted.

    "I heard a scream and in no time I was in the woman's room."
    "I heard a scream but at no time was I in the woman's room."

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