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English Lesson 21 – INVERSION‏,NEGATIVE AND LIMITING ADVERBIALS,Times expressions

NEGATIVE AND LIMITING ADVERBIALS

Sometimes you can place a negative or limiting adverbial in the front position to create emphasis.

Word order

In this type of sentence, the subject+auxiliary word order is inverted.

I have never seen anythiing quiete so breathtaking

Never have I seen anything quiete so breathtaking

The same thing happens with the verb be

It is not only one of the oldest cities on Earth, but also one of the most beautiful

Not only is it one of the oldest cities on Earth, it is also one of the most beautiful

In the present simple and past simple, use do /does or did

We rarely visit that part of town

Rarely do we visit that part of town

Negative adverbials

In formal and literary language in particular, we use negative adverbials at the beginning of a clause. The subject and verb are inverted:

This only occurs when the adverbial is at the beginning of a clause. They’re not usual in everyday spoken

Times expressions: Never, rarely, seldom

Seldom do we have goods returned to us because they are faulty, (not Seldom we do…)

These are most commonly used with present perfect , or with modals such as can and could . Sentences of this type often contain comparatives.

Times expressions : Hardly, barely, scarcely, no sooner

These refer to an event wich quickly follows another in the past. They’re usually used with past perfect , althought no sooner can be followed by past simple

Hardly had the train left the sation, when there was an explosion

Scarcely had I entered the room when the phone rang

No sooner was the team back on the pitch than it started rainning

These include under no circunstances, no account , at no time, in no way , on no condition , not until, not only

On no condition are they to open fire without a warning

Not until I got home did I notice that I forgot my keys inside the car

Not a+noun

Not a word did she say to me

Not until +verb phrase

Not until I come back home did I realise how lucky I’d been

Not until +noun phrase

Not until the end did I realise how lucky I’d been

Under no circumstances

Under no circumstances are you to leave before you finish to pay all your debts

On no account

On no account can they claim to the best

Never

Never had I seen such a lovely doll

No sooner… than

No sooner had I arrived that the doorbell rang

Limiting adverbials

Only +by+ing

Only by bribing the police officer was he able to get away

Only +conjuction+verb phrase

Only if he promised to help would she tell him where he had left his keys.

Only when I took the test did I realise how little I knew

After only : Here only combines with other time expressions and is usually used in the past simple

Only after posting the letter did I remember that I had forgotten to put an stamp

Other examples are only if /when, only then, only later

When only refers to “the state of being the only one” there is not inversion following it

Only he realised that the window was opened

after only + a time expression, as in only after, only later, only once, only then, only when:

She bought a newspaper and some sweets at the shop on the corner. Only later did she realise that she’d been given the wrong change.

Only once did / go to the opera in the whole time I was in Italy.

after only + other prepositional phrases beginning only by…, only in…, only with…, etc.:

Mary had to work at evenings and weekends. Only in this way was she able to finish all and win more money to go and live abroad.

Little

Little also has a negative or restrictive meaning

Litle does the goverment appreciate what the results will be

Little did they know that we were following them

Little did / then realise the day would come when Michael would be famous.

Little do they know how lucky they are to live in such a wonderful house.

Rarely /seldom

Rarely had I had so much responsability

Seldom has the team given a worse performance

Barely/hardly/scarcely… when

Barely had I arrived when the doorbell rang

Inversion after so/such with that

This occurs with so and adjectives when the main verb is be. It is used for emphasis and is more common than the example with such :

So devasting were the floods that some areas may never recover

Such used with be means so much/ so great

Such was the force of the storm that trees were uprooted

As in the examples with such , inversion only occurs if so /such is the first word in the clause

Her business was so successful that Marie was able to retire at the age of 50. or So successful was her business, that Marie was able to retire at the age of 50.

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.

We can use such + be at the beginning of a clause to emphasise the extent or degree of something. The subject and verb are inverted.

Such is the popularity of the play that the theatre is likely to be full every night, or

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 surgery Elisabeth couldn’t walk so well, and neither could she eat all kind of food

The council never wanted the new supermarket to be built, nor did local residents

Inversion after adverbial phrases of direction and place

When we put an adverbial phrase, especially of direction or place, at the beginning of a sentence, we sometimes put an intransitive verb in front of its subject. This kind of inversion is found particularly in formal or literary styles:

With the verb be we always use inversion in sentences like this, and inversion is usual with certain verbs of place and movement, such as climb, come, fly, go, hang, lie, run, sit, stand:

In an armchair sat his mother, (rather than …his mother sat.)

Inversion doesn’t usually occur with other verbs. We don’t invert subject and verb when the subject is a pronoun. So, for example, we don’t say ‘In an armchair sat she.’

In speech, inversion often occurs after here and there, and adverbs such as back, down, in, off,up, round, etc.:

Here comes Sandra’s car.

Inverted conditonal sentences without if

Three typs of if-sentences can be inverted without if-. This makes the sentences more formal and makes the event less likely.

If they police had found out , I would have been in trouble

were the police to have found out , I would have been in trouble

If you should hear anything , let me know

Should you hear anything , let me know

If I had known, I would have protest strongly

Had I known , I would have protest strongly

Inversion after as:

This is more common in formal or written language

We were short of money as were most people in our neighborhood

Inversion in comparisons with ‘as’ and ‘than’

The coffee was excellent, as was the hot chocolate, (or …as the chocolate was.)

I believed, as did my colleagues, that the plan would work, (or …as my colleagues did…)

We prefer to use inversion after as and than in formal written language.

Notice that we don’t invert subject and verb when the subject is a pronoun

Inversion after so, neither and nor:

Inversion after ‘so + adjective… that'; ‘such + be…that'; ‘neither…/nor…’

These are used in statements agreeing or disagreeing

I’m going home: So am I

I don’t like meat. Neither do I

Compare these pairs of sentences:

Her business was so successful that Marie was able to retire at the age of 50. or So successful was her business, that Marie was able to retire at the age of 50.

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.

We can use such + be at the beginning of a clause to emphasise the extent or degree of something. The subject and verb are inverted.

Such is the popularity of the play that the theatre is likely to be full every night, or

• 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

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