Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Serbia
      • Current Location:
      • Serbia

    • Join Date: Aug 2015
    • Posts: 182
    #1

    Windows there were none...

    “Windows there were none in the cellar.”
    I know that this is not the usual word order, and I guess that we emphasize the absence of windows in this way.

    I would like to know if this type of sentences are commonly used in English, and if this sentence structure has some particular name.

  2. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 14,651
    #2

    Re: Windows there were none...

    This is a poetic style rarely used in everyday English.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 49,788
    #3

    Re: Windows there were none...

    I would have said "Windows were there none" is poetic and rarely used. I find the original simply wrong.

    The closest usage of the construction I can think of is from the final verse of The Walrus and the Carpenter, one of my favourite poems (by Lewis Carroll).

    "O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
    "You've had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?'
    But answer came there none--
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They'd eaten every one.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Serbia
      • Current Location:
      • Serbia

    • Join Date: Aug 2015
    • Posts: 182
    #4

    Re: Windows there were none...

    Thank you for the answers.
    The source of my sentence is Cambridge dictionary, examples from literature for the entry "cellar".
    "Windows were there none" would sound a bit less confusing to me.

    "But answer came there none..." - I am not sure that I understand what the subject of this sentence is (answer or there).
    Last edited by Meja; 20-Jan-2017 at 09:23.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 65,769
    #5

    Re: Windows there were none...

    The sentence with answer is fairly standard, but that doesn't mean it can be applied universally, and it, very importantly, begins with but, so it is different in a number of ways from your example.

  6. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Serbia
      • Current Location:
      • Serbia

    • Join Date: Aug 2015
    • Posts: 182
    #6

    Re: Windows there were none...

    I understand that but affects the sentence, but I do not understand how it affects it, i.e. what the grammatical explanation for that is.

  7. VIP Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,386
    #7

    Re: Windows there were none...

    Quote Originally Posted by Meja View Post


    "But answer came there none..." - I am not sure that I understand what the subject of this sentence is (answer or there).


    NOT A TEACHER


    1. I have found a source that says that "Answer came there none" is not just another way to rearrange the words of "There was no answer."

    2. IF "Answer came there none" were the same as "There was no answer," then "answer" would be the subject. All secondary school books tell us that in a such sentence, the analysis is "No answer was [existed]." We are told to ignore "there" in analysis. So apparently "answer" is not the subject of "Answer came there none."

    3. My source feels that "Answer came there none" is closer to something like: "As regards an answer, came there none."

    a. The question is (I guess): Which word ("there" or "none") is most likely the subject of the verb "came." (I do not have enough confidence to tell you my choice.)


    Source: Eleanor Dickey and Anna Chahoud, Colloquial and Literary Latin (2010), page 172. (Courtesy of Google "books")

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 49,788
    #8

    Re: Windows there were none...

    Answer came there none = No answer came.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •