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    #1

    Questions about the sentence "Only regarding their son did they ever quarrel. "

    Hello.

    I'd like to ask about a sentence that I've come across in a book and felt difficult to grasp the meaning.
    In the following sentence, "they" means parents of Piers (Giles and Marie) .

    "Only regarding their son did they ever quarrel. Giles wanted Piers to be a lowly smith like him, but Marie dreamed of the day when Piers, too, would know the great courts of Europe."

    1. Is the subject of the verb "did" their son?

    2. If so, does the past tense mean that the matter they quarreled is mainly about what their son did so far, not what he would do (or be) in the future?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Questions about the sentence "Only regarding their son did they ever quarrel. "

    No, the sentence means "The only thing they quarrelled about was their son."
    They quarrelled only about their son, and nothing else.

    The "did" is simply the form of the verb (past of quarrel) that is needed because of the sentence structure (starting with "Only....")
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 10-Dec-2014 at 09:52. Reason: Fixing typo.
    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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    #3

    Re: Questions about the sentence "Only regarding their son did they ever quarrel. "

    Thank you. It is a form of inversion, isn't it?

    I found an explanation regarding your explanation, and I think I got it now. :)
    http://www.grammaring.com/only-after...-etc-not-until

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Questions about the sentence "Only regarding their son did they ever quarrel. "

    Right - They quarrelled only about their son. Only about their son did they quarrel.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 10-Dec-2014 at 09:52. Reason: Fixing typo.
    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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    #5

    Re: Questions about the sentence "Only regarding their son did they ever quarrel. "

    Thank you very much again. : )

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    #6

    Re: Questions about the sentence "Only regarding their son did they ever quarrel. "

    There is no need to write a new post just to say "Thank you". It makes us think there is new information or a follow-up question and we spend time opening the thread. Simply click on the "Thank" button at the bottom left-hand corner of any post you find helpful.

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