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    #1

    inverted form

    This statement of congratulation really made me think: May happy times and warm memories brighten your new year.
    As I can see this statement has an inverted form: May + subject, although it is not a question.
    I knew it that inverted forms are used in 1. questions, 2. statement of surprise or shock, 3. statements which start with semi-/negative adverbs like never, seldom, only, ... But I didn't know it can be used in statements of wishes or congratulations.
    Can I use inverted forms in statements for wishes?
    Thanks,

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: inverted form

    There is no inversion. "May" is used here as a modal verb expressing a wish.

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    #3

    Re: inverted form

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    There is no inversion. "May" is used here as a modal verb expressing a wish.
    1. May happy times and warm memories brighten your new year.
    2. H
    appy times and warm memories may brighten your new year.

    Sentence 1 does not start with a subject: May + subject so I just thought it must be the inverted form of sentence 2.


  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: inverted form

    'May' has different meanings and usages in 1 and 2.
    http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/may_1
    Definition#7 fits sentence 1 and definition#1 fits sentence 2.

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    #5

    Re: inverted form

    The word 'may' has different meanings in the two sentences.
    'May' in #1 expresses a wish or hope. Another example : May you be blessed.
    'May' in #2 expresses a possibility.

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    #6

    Re: inverted form

    So in this case, I believe, in #1, 'may' must be an adverb and not a modal verb. Am I right?

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: inverted form

    'May' is a modal verb rather than an adverb.

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    #8

    Re: inverted form

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    'May' is a modal verb rather than an adverb.

    Not a teacher.
    Thanks for you beautiful answers, I think now, if 'may' is a modal verb, so #1 must be in the inverted form.
    I think in wish expressions with 'may,' the inverted form is used. And so in this case, 'may' can remain a modal verb.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: inverted form

    Quote Originally Posted by atabitaraf View Post
    #1 must be in the inverted form.
    It seems that you paid no attention to the answer below.
    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    There is no inversion. "May" is used here as a modal verb expressing a wish.
    Not a teacher.

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    #10

    Re: inverted form

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    It seems that you paid no attention to the answer below. Not a teacher.
    No, I did observe all the posts. But the point is that I can see a contradiction in here with the grammar I learned.
    You see: If 'may' is a modal, so just in the inverted form it can be used at the beginning of our sentence. Am I right in my definition of inverted form?
    My definition of inverted form:
    1. In sentences with auxiliary verbs or a 'to be' verb: the place of subject with the first auxiliary verb must be exchanged.
    2. In sentences without auxiliary verbs or a 'to be' verb: Do/Does/Did comes in front of the sentence.
    If you agree with my statement so either #1 is inverted OR 'may' cannot be a modal. Thanks,

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