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Marina Miloevi, 2011

Inversion
When we begin a sentence with a negative adverb or adverbial phrase, we sometimes
have to change the usual word order of subject and verb. We can refer to this as inversion.
We do this because we want to emphaseze the meaning of the adverb. Compare: He had
rarely seen such a sunset. Vs. Rarely had he seen such a sunset.
We use inversion after negative adverbs which emphasize a time relationship at the
beginning of the sentence:
No sooner had I put the phone down than it rang again.
Hardly/Scarcely/Barely had I got my breath back when/before it was time to go
again.
We use inversion with phrases that use not:
Not until he apologizes will I speak to him again.
Not since I was little have I had so much fun.
Not for one minute / moment do I imagine theyll come back.
Not only did they give them food and shelter but also clothes.
Not a single word was spoken during the dinner. (not a + noun)
We use inversion with some time phrases that use only:
Only after several weeks did she begin to recover. Only recently
Only in the last few days
Only later did she realize what had happened.
Only last week
Only then did he remember he hasnt got his keys. Only five minutes earlier
Only when Ive finished this will I be able to think Only if
about anything else
Only once did he go to opera in the whole time I was in Italy.
WATCH OUT!
After not until, only when and only after, the inversion is in the main part of the sentence:
Not until did I see him I remembered we have met before.
Not until I saw him did I remember we had met before.
We also use inversion after negative adverbs which emphasize frequency at the
beginning of a sentence:
Never have I been so taken aback.
Rarely do they fail to get away for a holiday.
Seldom is that pop group out of the news.
Hardly ever did he wear a suit.
We can also use inversion after negative adverbs the beginning of a sentence to
emphasize how infrequently things happen:
Little did she realize what was about to happen.
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Marina Miloevi, 2011

Nowhere was a replacement to be found.

We often use inversion for general emphasis with phrases that use only:
Only by patience and hard work will he find a solution.
Only by chance had James discovered where the birds were nesting.
Only in this way do we stand any chance of success.
Only with the right ingredients will the dish be a success.
We can also use phrases with no:
In no way should this be regarded as an and of the matter.
On no account are you to report this to anyone.
Under no circumstances can we accept the offer.
At no time did they actually break the rules of the game.
We can use so + adjective at the beginning of a clause to give special emphasis to the
adjective. When we do this, the subject and verb are inverted.
Her business was so successful that Marie was able to retire at the age of 50.
So successful was her business, that Marie was able to retire at the age of 50.
The weather conditions became so dangerous that all mountain roads were closed,
So dangerous did weather conditions become, that all mountain roads were
closed.
We can use such + be at the beginning of a clause to emphasize the extent or degree of
something. The subject and verb are inverted. Compare:
Such is the popularity of the play that the theatre is likely to be full every night.
The play is so popular that the theatre is likely to be full every night.
We invert the subject and verb after neither and nor when these words begin a clause:
For some time after the explosion Jack couldn't hear, and neither could he see.
The council never wanted the new supermarket to be built, nor did local
residents.