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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #116400: Subject/verb inversions
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Agreement/Disagreement:Both, so do I, neither do I | Inversion | Questions [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Present simple - Questions : how to ask them - Both and its use - Ask the question - Interrogative clauses - Inversion - Direct and Indirect Interrogative forms ... - Who-What-Which
    > Double-click on words you don't understand


    Subject/verb inversions


     

    Some languages use "the subject/ verb inversion" a lot. French is one of them, but English isn't!  Should you be happy for it? Of course not!

    The phenomenon exists in certain precise cases. They express a desire from the speaker to give the sentences some "special effects"!   

     

    I) In English, of course, the principal " indication" of the subject-verb inversion is the interrogative form". 

     - They had found solutions to their problems.= affirmative sentence.

     => Structure= Subject+ Verb+ Complements. 

     => Had they found solutions to their problems? = interrogative sentence.

     => Structure= Verb (accompanied by a possible auxiliary)+ Subject+ Complements+ ?                                    

    II) Inversion is also used to insist on a meaning or an effect that the speaker wants to make clear. 

     

        1) Using a negative at the beginning of a sentence in order to insist on a  temporal impossibility.

     

        DO TAKE CARE OF "SEMI-NEGATIVES" ( hardly,  scarcely, barely, seldom, See lesson N° 105025 ); they are following the same patterns as pure NEGATIVES.  

     

                                                                                   

    - Never would he have imagined such a rude answer!

    - Seldom did he invite her to dinner...

     

                                                         

             

       2) In order to express advice, especially if there's a hesitation to express it. Thus, it's a formal and polite way to give  advice. 

     

                                                    

     

       3) In order to express a hypothesis: Had I= If I had. 

     - Had she known the truth, she'd never have accepted his apologies! 

     

                                                             

     

         4) In order to express a similarity of thoughts or actions,  " So have I", "Neither will he". The tag uses the same auxiliary as in the sentence with a subject/verb inversion.

     - "I have already visited the Empire State Building several times." "So have I." 

     - "I've never read Plato in Greek. " " Neither have I!"

     

                                                        

     

    I do hope you will train and use these patterns which are seldom used by foreigners. Good luck for the test!  

     



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    1. 'Lucy! Are you ready for your invitation at Livia's. You have sandwiches for the picnic, a huge bag of crisps to share, a lot of cool water, fruit; some soda or some juice? your dad coming to drive you to Livia's?'
    2. out with her dad when/than her mom realized she had left her sun hat behind.
    3. stay in the sun without a hat and glasses.
    4. the hat, than she called on her husband's cell phone.
    5. her hat, but she had also forgotten her sun glasses and sun lotion... She's a scatterbrain...
    6. your things in advance, you wouldn't have forgotten them at the last moment.
    7. 'I had forgotten to take my things out, but , Mom! let's hurry up, Mom, or I'll be late at Livia's... '
    8. 'You must be kidding, little girl! At your age, you are responsible for your things: I'm not! If you go on being rude to me, I'll stay home and and I won't go to Livia's and ...' 'Err... Sorry, Mom... I promise I'll take care of myself...'

                                                                                                        








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