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  1. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #1

    "Why wasn't he invited to the party?"

    Is it actually correct to say "Why wasn't he invited to the party?" ?

    Should it not rather be: "Why was he not invited to the party?" ?

    The position of the negation "not" in the first sentence is wrong.
    Am I right?
    Thanks in advance

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    #2

    Re: "Why wasn't he invited to the party?"

    Either sentence is correct. The first is more natural.

  2. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "Why wasn't he invited to the party?"

    Sorry, I didn't provide you with the background.
    It's about an exercise from active into passive voice.
    The active sentence was: "Why did Sam not invite him to the party?"

    So the passive must be either" Why was Sam not invited to the party" or Why wasn't Sam invited to the party"

    Which one is correct?

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "Why wasn't he invited to the party?"

    Both are correct.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #5

    Re: "Why wasn't he invited to the party?"

    They are both wrong. The following are correct:

    'Why was he not invited to the party (by Sam)?'
    'Why wasn't he invited to the party (by Sam)?'

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "Why wasn't he invited to the party?"

    I missed that, Rover.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  5. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "Why wasn't he invited to the party?"

    Oh, sorry, I missed it too.. Of course Sam is the one who is inviting. I simply made some confusion.
    Thank you both.
    The reason why I am neverthless still a bit confused is because:
    As far as I know Wasn't corresponds to was not, right?
    So, as a result, the second version [Why wasn't he invited...] could be written as follows: Why was not he invited.
    And here is the problem! As far as I know, you cannot say "Why was not he", right?
    That is the reason why I am still confused and hope you don't mind my asking.
    I simply want to undersand and - above all - improve my English!

    Thank you a lot!

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "Why wasn't he invited to the party?"

    The answer is very simple. The rule changes when a contraction is used.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: "Why wasn't he invited to the party?"

    Once upon a time, "Why was not he ...?" would have been natural and correct. I'm sure somewhere in one of the many Shakespeare plays I studied I remember "Why was not I asked ...?" or something similar.

    Here is an example from the net of "Oh, why was not I left among the ignorant ...". The rest of that writing is very old-fashioned too.

    So, it might be confusing but we used to say "Why was not he ...?" but now we don't. We now say either "Why wasn't he ...?" or "Why was he not ...?" Effectively, these days, "Why wasn't he ...?" is a contraction of "Why was he not ...?" in modern usage.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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