Article Inversion


Inversion is writing which reverses the usual order of words (S-V-C structure). It may be used in poetry to help the writer to make a rhyme or put particular emphasis on a word. An example would be:

"Mad indeed would I be to expect it..."

"I would be mad indeed..."

Here it is about creating an effect used to draw you deeper into the story. In both examples above, the adjective "mad" is an attention grabber (probably stressed more in the first sentence than it would be in the middle of the clause).

In the first sentence it is presented at the beginning to give a kind of preface to the rest of the sentence and to catch your eye-mind-emotion chain. In the second sentence it takes your eye-to-mind reception a few milliseconds more to get to the dynamic adjective.

Here's a few more:

a. C-S-V: "Legal behaviour it may be; moral behaviour it is not."
b. C-V-S: "A very reckless man is William Jefferson."
c. V-S-C: �'Ride you this afternoon?'� (Macbeth, III,I,21)
d. C-S-V: "'Up you go!'"

Note that inversion makes italicizing stressed words unnecessary. This might be a good strategy for all those who only have UE BASIC, as we can't show stress without resorting to tactics similar to those Iv�n feels a need to-CAPITALISING. Yet it must be remembered that inversion can seem extremely artificial in English, it is used only rarely--when required for cohesion, conciseness or emotional stress on certain words.

Why don't you try a little inversion yourself? Only if you feel like it, no obligation.

E.g. the normal non-inverted English S-V-C structure:

Steven is an extremely attractive man.

Inverted C-V-S: An extremely attractive man is Steven.

Now you:

1. S-V-C structure: Spanish people are really noisy.


2. Normal S-V-C structure: It may be dry weather, but it isn't warm.




V-S-C: �'Ride you this afternoon?'� (Macbeth, III,I,21)

Here the meaning could be misinterpreted, so one has to take care when applying inversion.

Normal S-V-C structure: Will you go riding this afternoon?


Your task:

Normal S-V-C structure: Will you meet the person of your dreams tomorrow?


There is more to it than just the above, but I think it gives a good introduction.

Categories: Grammar Topics



Does inversion always change the meaning or emphasis?

People who speak English as a first language might use inverted sentence structures once in a while. They would know when to use them and in which sentences to use them without thinking about it.

How can a student of English know when to use an inverted sentence structure? How could students know when it might be just the right time and place to do so?

Would this ability simply come with practicing writing inversions or by listening, reading and general observation?

How can a student of English really know when it is okay to use an inversion?

Is this inversion? Or just awkward?

"While stocks lost money, 10-year Treasury bonds returned 86 percent this decade, data compiled by Bloomberg and Aswath Damodaran, a finance professor at New York University, show."


Data compiled by Bloomberg and Aswath Damodaran, a finance professor at New York University, show that while stocks lost money, 10-year Treasury bonds returned 86 percent this decade.

S-V-what is C again?

i want to know about the historical development of inversion in English

This is the first tlme I have the chance to check this important topic, and I noticed it is a very important one, so next time I need it again, I will come back to this same page. Thanks for the information,I really appreciated it.

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