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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    about a word order

    Could you tell me why "they" comes after "have" in this sentence

    ex: "Congress has taken many stabs at legislation to protect individuals,
    but only recently have they gathered much support."

  2. #2
    apex2000's Avatar
    apex2000 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
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      • Other
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      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Wales
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: about a word order

    It is a manner of speech. Consider:
    'but they have not gathered much support until recently'.
    In your sentence the speaker has put the emphasis on 'only recently'.
    Had they left sooner they would have caught the train.
    If they had left sooner.......
    There was a delay which, had they not decided to come, would have saved them a lot of distress.
    Because they decided to come the delay caused them a lot of distress.
    This is all part of the way we speak.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Re: about a word order

    Dear apex2000

    Thank you very much for answering my question.
    Examples which you gave help my understanding a lot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: about a word order

    I think the real reason why"they"comes after" have"in your sentence because after the word"only" you need an inversion.Here is an example:Only when I arrived home did I remember I have forgotten my keys.
    I hope you understand

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: about a word order

    This is called 'inversion'. It means inverted normal word-order (as we do in questions) and it is quite formal. We use inversion after negative or restrictive expressions (never, not only, only, little, no sooner....) at the beginning of the clause. Sometimes, as in the conditional examples above, we use it for emphasis or to make it even more unlikely.
    Not only IS SHE beautiful, but she also sings beautifully.
    Little DID SHE know what was in store for her
    Hardly HAD SHE entered the room when she heard someone screaming in the street.
    SHOULD I be mistaken, please let me know.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Re: about a word order

    Dear Oprica Laura , Wuisi ,

    Thank you so much for your concreate explanation and examples.

    I understand well.

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