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Thread: Not until

  1. monty python's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2007
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    Re: Not until

    I was wondering...Can you actually invert the order as in :

    Not until HAD he ARRIVED home from the restaurant he felt safe -at last

    (just mixed the 2 sentences because restaurants can be pretty scary,you know... hyper-protective waiters...outrageous bills... :)

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Not until

    No- it doesn't work.

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 7

    Re: Not until

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Yes. The 2nd part, "did he find he'd left..." is OK. :D

    he did (in fact) find.... (did refers to 'it's a fact'; used for emphasis)

    did he (in fact) find.... (did is moved to the verb position)

    Not until X verb Y
    X = he had arrived home
    Y = he find he had left the key....

    If we add a verb, then 'did' becomes ungrammatical:

    It was not until he had arrived home did he find.... Ungrammatical


    By the way, the original sentence is not grammatical to me. I prefer:

    Not until he had arrived home did he find he had left....


    it's easy because you use did most of the time in questions! and as a past action! so did has nothing to do in the first one

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 1

    Re: Not until

    Hello, I just registered here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belly T View Post
    Can I asked this:
    The refugees continued to feel unsafe until they had crossed the border.
    So how can we rewrite it with "Not until"?
    If you say
    "The refugees continued to feel unsafe until they had crossed the border",
    wouldn't it mean this -- The refugees felt unsafe before crossing the border. After they had crossed the border, they felt safe.

    Now, we rewrite it with "not until":
    "Not until they had crossed the border did the refugees (begin to) feel safe" -- as opposed to feeling unsafe. For the meaning to stay the same, we had to change unsafe to safe.
    In other words, "Until" means "from the past to point X", whereas "not until" means "from point X to the future".

    I found this forum when I searched for "not until" and its usage, because I wanted to find out how to complete a sentence in an English exercise. This is the sentence:
    " Y he'd got an official warning which had stated quite clearly that..." etc. Y has to have the meaning of "Not until last summer".
    But am I right that you can't just say "Not until last summer he'd got an official warning..." because the word order would break? It should be "not until last summer had he got". But I can't change that. So correct me if I'm wrong, but does it go like this:

    "It was not until last summer that he'd got an official warning...". If we put a subject "It" in the beginning, we can use direct word order in the subordinate clause, right? Without "It" there would be only one subject, "He", and because of that only one clause, which would have to have an inverse word order (correct term?) because of the "not until" in the beginning.

    Additionally, when I registered here, I got this message:

    "Until you have activated your account, you will not be able to post messages in these forums."

    How would you change that into "not until"? :D

    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 137

    Re: Not until

    Here, the restricting or limiting side is the whole of the Not until clause, inversion comes in the main clause.

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 3

    Re: Not until

    i thik the second one is the correct answer

    Quote Originally Posted by nicolas View Post
    Dear All,

    ^^!! This is too difficult for me.
    I can't understand what it exactly means. :(

    Is this what it means?
    He did not find that he had left it in the restaurant until he arrived home.

    When will we use this sentence pattern?
    Why do we use this sentence pattern?

    Thanks !

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    Re: Not until

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    The first one is used; the other one isn't. Thus, it is not an apt comparison.

    The second one is not used. You might say, "I won't stay here until 9:00pm" with the same meaning.

    Althoiugh the item was at the restaurant during the entire drive home, it was not until (not before) he arrived at the house that he remembered leaving it there. (Did I explain that adequately?)

    The action (remembering that he had left the item at the restaurant) happens after he arrives at his house. The item was at the restaurant the whole time, but he didn't remember it before then. The remembering happened after he got home.

    How about: Ron, IŽll stay here not until 9:00.

  3. Cold Killer's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 21

    Re: Not until

    weeeeeeeeeeell done

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    Re: Not until

    Negative pronouns and words with negative meaning
    -> word-order: Verb - Subject

    Seldom did he realize
    Never could he image
    Not until did he arrive
    A little can he know
    Only this can he say

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    Re: Not until

    thanks for the explanations..
    I found almost the same sentence somewhat in a movie ...

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