[Grammar] Sad is the man vs The man is sad.

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taked4700

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Hi,

I'd like to ask about inversion.

I guess that "The man is sad." is a normal way to say it.

But it would be also correct to say, "Sad is the man."

I wonder in what context you use this inversion.

Thanks in advance.
 

emsr2d2

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The inversion is a rather poetic or stylised usage and is normal followed by something else.

Sad is the man who has nothing in his life but football.
Happy is the child who loves school, has many friends and lots of outside interests.
Blessed is a person who finds love with their best friend.
 

SoothingDave

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If you are talking about a particular man who is sad, then "the man is sad."

As emsr2d2 said the inversion "Sad is the man..." is used to discuss in general conditions that would make a man sad.
 

taked4700

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Thank you, Emsr2d2 and SoothingDave.

Your explanations are of great help for me.

Let me ask further question.

1. In a daily conversation, you use inversion sometimes like "Here goes a bus." I guess it would be more idiomatic to say, "Here goes a/the bus." than to say, "A/The bus goes here." What kind of impression or intuition make you think so?

2. I think "Here goes a bus." is as idiomatic as "Here goes the bus." But 'a bus' is new information while 'the bus' is not. The rule SoothingDave suggested tells new information comes later but it seems to me that "the bus" is not new information and it violates the rule. What do you think of this?

Thanks in advance.
 

5jj

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Here comes a/the bus.
There goes a/the bus

The difference between a and the is the usual one. If we have a particular bus in mind, we use the; if we don't, we use a.
 

taked4700

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Thank you, 5jj.

I see the difference between the two. So, let me think about the questions I asked by myself.

I guess that in English the first element has an important role that decides which direction your thinking is going in, in other words, it indicates what you are identifying with as a starter of your utterance when communicating other people. The subject is a thing that you want to share with the other party, and from which you spread the contents of your utterance. Here you see the most important role of the subject is to have something common with the other party such as you and the other party can see simultaneously, i.e. the places around you. This is the reason that 'here' or 'there' comes first. 'The bus' or 'A bus' is information newer than 'Here' or 'There'. I guess this assumption can comply with a rule that old information comes first whereas the newer one comes later.

Thanks in advance.
 
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