INVERSION FOUNDATIONS The normal word order for English sentences is : Subject+verb Example : ‘She is laughing .’ We cannot change the word order . We cannot say : ‘Laughing she is’ nor ‘Is she laughing’ (at least not in an affirmative sentence)
‘Off walked the dragon into the sunset’ ->The normal word order is : ‘The dragon walked off into the sunset’ ‘Never have I heard such a ridiculous story’ ->The normal word order is : ‘I have never heard such a ridiculous story’ But in certain cases we can change the word order to Verb+Subject and this is called INVERSION
When do we use inversion? In the cartoon, why did the little angels use inversion? For emphasis To make the sentence more dramatic In literary or formal language (especially negative sentences)
Emphasis Dramatizing in a story
Examples of inversion :COMPLEMENT+’TO BE’+SUBJECT Examples : The night is tender . -> ‘Tender is the night’ (poetic) His real plan is to take over the world. -> ‘To take over the world is his real plan .’
Negative adverbs and conjunctions Look at these sentences Seldom have I worked so hard in all my life. Never have I experienced such cold weather. Rarely do we start working before 9 in the morning. What kind of word comes first in each sentence? Are all the words at the beginning of the sentences negative? Where is the subject? What is the ‘normal’ word order in each of the sentences ?
Answers What kind of word comes first in each sentence? An adverb Are all the words at the beginning of the sentences negative? Well , yes . A word like ‘rarely’ has a ‘restrictive’ meaning and is in a way negative . Where is the subject? After the auxiliary verb What is the ‘normal’ word order in each of these sentences ? 1. I have seldom worked so hard... 2. I have never experienced such cold weather . 3. We rarely start working before 9 in the morning
Inversion : Negative adverbs and conjunctions Words we use for negative inversion. Never..... / Rarely-Seldom.... / Little.... E.G. Little does he know who is waiting for him. Phrases we use for negative inversion. Hardly/Barely/Scarcely...........when... No sooner....................................than... Not only........................but...also.............. On no account........... / Under no circumstances...... At no time/point... On no other day..... Only (now, then, occasionally, in the last few days......) E.G. Under no circumstances must you talk to him about it .
Inversion : Negative adverbs and conjunctions Now try and correct these sentences (if they are wrong!) At no point we were asked our opinion. Little they knew he was a spy. Seldom we see each other . On no other day would the weather be so good .
Inversion : Answers At no point were we asked our opinion. Little did they knew he was a spy. Seldom do/did we see each other . On no other day would the weather be so good .(CORRECT)
Inversion : Negative adverbs and conjunctions Not until & only Examples : Not until the sun came up did we stop drinking notice that the auxiliary is in the middle of the sentence. Why? Only in Mataró do they have such traffic problems . Is ‘only’ a negative word?
Inversion : Answers Not until the sun came up did we stop drinking notice that the auxiliary is in the middle of the sentence. Why? Because ‘Not until’ first needs a complement . It cannot stand on its own . So ‘Not until the sun came up’ is like an adverb – an adverbial phrase. Only in Mataró do they have such traffic problems. Is ’only’ a negative word? Well , ‘only’ excludes other possibilities . Only this , not that or the other one . So it is , in a sense , negative .
Inversion : Negative adverbs and conjunctions Join these sentences using the words in brackets . He saw the photographs . He realised what had happened (Only) The police came . She stopped screaming . (Not until) You will give up smoking . You will feel better . (Not until)
Answers Only when he saw the photographs did he realize what had happened Not until the police came did she stop screaming . Not until you give up smoking will you feel better .
Other inversions In short answers and other similar structures using SO, NEITHER, NOR “I’m a plumber”. “Really? So am I” After AS, SO, SUCH “So late was it that there was no one in the office” In conditional sentences “Had I known it, I’d have left the room”
Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless. YOUR TASK GIVE SOME ADVICE TO SAVE AN ANIMAL FROM EXTINCTION TALKING AS MASTER YODA