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  1. Unregistered

    Present Perfect Interrogative Statement?

    I am a native English speaker, but I am fairly new to teaching ESL. In a book I was reading with a student, I came across this sentence:

    Never in my life have I seen such a thing!

    As a native speaker, this did not sound at all unusual to me. My student asked me, however, why the interrogative form (auxiliary + subject + participle) was being used if it wasn't a question. I couldn't think of any linguistic rule to cite other than, "That's just what sounds right". I would like to come back next week with a rule to explain this situation. Can someone help me?

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    Re: Present Perfect Interrogative Statement?

    There's an explanation here English Lesson 21 - INVERSION‏,NEGATIVE AND LIMITING ADVERBIALS,Times expressions - English Lesson-ngilizce Ders - Blogcu


    Sometimes you can place a negative or limiting adverbial in the front position to create emphasis.

    Word order
    In this type of sentence, the subject+auxiliary word order is inverted.

    I have never seen anythiing quiete so breathtaking

    Never have I seen anything quiete so breathtaking

    It is not only one of the oldest cities on Earth, but also one of the most beautiful

    Not only is it one of the oldest cities on Earth, it is also one of the most beautiful

    We rarely visit that part of town
    Rarely do we visit that part of town

    Times expressions: Never, rarely, seldom

    Seldom do we have goods returned to us because they are faulty, (not Seldom we do...)

    These are most commonly used with present perfect , or with modals such as can and could . Sentences of this type often contain comparatives.

    Times expressions: Hardly, barely, scarcely, no sooner

    These refer to an event wich quickly follows another in the past. They're usually used with past perfect , althought no sooner can be followed by past simple

    Hardly had the train left the sation, when there was an explosion

    Scarcely had I entered the room when the phone rang

    No sooner was the team back on the pitch than it started rainning

    These include under no circunstances, no account , at no time, in no way , on no condition , not until, not only

    Click on the link above to read more.

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