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sábado, 20 de febrero de 2016



Inversion happens when we reverse the normal word order of a structure, most commonly the subject-verb word order. For example, a statement has the subject before the verb, but to make question word order, we invert the subject and the verb, with an auxiliary or modal verb before the subject:

She sings.
Does she sing?
They are working.
Are they working?
Joe can swim.
Can Joe swim?

When does inversion happen?
The most common type of inversion is question word order. Inversion also happens in other situations.

Negative adverbs

In formal styles, when we use an adverb with negative meaning (never, seldom, rarely, scarcely, hardly) in front position for emphasis, we invert the subject and auxiliary modal verb:
Never have we witnessed such cruel behaviour by one child to another. (or We have never witnessed …)
Seldom does one hear a politician say ‘sorry’. (or One seldom hears …)

Expressions beginning with not

We also invert the subject and verb after not + a prepositional phrase or a clause in initial position:
Not for a moment did I think I would be offered the job, so I was amazed when I got it.
Not till I got home did I realise my wallet was missing.

Here and there

Inversion can happen after here, and after there when it is as an adverb of place. After here and there, we can use a main verb without an auxiliary verb or modal verb:
Here comes the bus!
Here’s your coffee.
I opened the door and there stood Michael, all covered in mud.

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