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Thread: Order of Words

  1. Member
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    Order of Words

    I am wondering how the ordering of words works with the following cases:

    1. Nor could he use his influence to reverse the adverse effects.
    2. He was quite confident because he believed that he could do the job better than could anyone less educated to the task.

    Q1. Are both academically acceptable in terms of grammar?
    Q2. How is the different order of words (the parts in bold) called?

    It seems as if they (the bold parts) follows the grammatical order of a question, and yet, they are not questions.
    I would like to know the grammatical reasoning and term for such a grammatical structure if there is any and whether such usages are acceptable in academic papers.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. probus's Avatar
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    Nor means "and ... not". So in your first example you could say "And he could not". The reversal of the usual word order when using nor is just a customary usage, perhaps a relic.

    But in your second example the unusual word order is optional. You could just as well say "than anyone less well-trained could." Well educated to the task seems to me an unnatural phrase.

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