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Intermediate Lesson - Inversion

Intermediate Lesson - Inversion

Date: Oct 11 2007

Topic: Business English

Author: sakuralanguage



Inversion means putting the verb before the subject.  
 It is sometimes difficult to remember when inversion is used.    
Here are a few guidelines

                         In normal everyday English, inversion is used :   
                              ► to make questions :       does he?   can you?     
                              ► after so, neither, nor :     so do I,  neither do I,  nor do I.

In written English, as well as in a very formal style, inversion is used in the following cases :

1.  ◊ After negative adverbial expressions
                                      Under no circumstances can we accept cheques. 
                                      In no way can he be held responsible. 
                                      At no time did she say she would come.

2.  ◊ After adverbial expressions of place
Round the corner came the postman. 
                                    On the doorstep was a bunch of flowers.

3.  ◊ After seldom, rarely, never, in comparisons
                                     ▪ Seldom have I seen such a beautiful view. 
                                     ▪ Rarely
did he pay anyone a compliment. 
                                     ▪ Never had I felt so happy.

4.  ◊ After hardly, scarcely, no sooner, when one thing happens after another. 
                                     ▪ Hardly had I begun to speak when I was interrupted. 
                                     ▪ Scarcely had we started our meal when the phone rang
                                     ▪ No sooner had I arrived than they all started to argue.

5.  ◊ After adverbial expressions beginning with 'only'
                                     ▪ Only
after the meeting did I realize the importance of the subject.

6.  ◊ After exclamations with here and there
                                      ▪ Here comes the winner! 
                                      ▪ There goes all our money!


            Print and reformulate the following sentences using inversion.

Example :   She at no time said she was vegetarian.  →→> At no time did she say (that) she was vegetarian. 
         1.        I had hardly begun to apologize when the door closed . 
         2.        I have seldom heard such a talented singer. 
         3.        If John had known that his mother liked curry, he would have brought her to an Indian restaurant. 
         4.        The artist rarely paid any attention to his agent's advice. 
         5.        He had never felt so depressed. 
         6.        The shop can in no way be held responsible for customers' lost property. 
         7.        The couple had no sooner arrived than the priest started the ceremony. 
         8.        Tom only understood the meaning of the comment when he saw his wife's face. 
         9.        She never at any time said that she was allergic to cats. 
        10.       The restaurant cannot accept animals under any circumstances. 



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