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Questions unusual Word Order

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I would like to ask about WORD ORDER in questions. Is there a possibility I could make this sentence:

There are no books on the table?

I know it does not follow the general rules of Word Order in questions. Just I imagined a situation, where the person is used to have the books on the table and he is wondering why they are not there.


Staff member
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Yes, in speech we do that all the time.

A: Could you get the books I left on the table.
B: Uh... there aren't any books on the table.
A: There aren't any books on the table? That's odd - I was sure I'd put them... oh, never mind. I left them in my backpack.

("There aren't any books?" is more common than "There are no books?" in my experience.)
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