The Inversion Sentences
Inversion involves swapping (inverting) the position of the auxiliary verb and the subject in a sentence.
- Conditional sentences
The most common use of inversion is forming questions (interrogative sentences).
|Earth is small compared to other planets||Is Earth small compared to other planets?|
|I am thirsty||Am I thirsty?|
|My name is Mark||Is my name Mark?|
If there is no auxiliary verb in the sentence, one needs to be added when you invert the word order.
|Andrew had health problems||Did Andrew have health problems?|
|It belongs to Emma||Does it belong to Emma?|
|She looked tired||Did she look tired?|
Use inversion to show emphasis.
- Little did she know how much work was left.
- On no account must you sleep at school.
- Never should you forget who your boss is.
- Only then can you belong to me.
- Here comes the sun.
The structure is rarely used in spoken English. Most often, you will find it in books.
Inversion is also used in formal conditonal sentences.
- Were I you, I would visit my grandfather.
Turn the following into inverted sentences. One is done for you
- The matter could be explained in no other way.
In no other way could the matter be explained.
- We had hardly started when it began to rain.
- I have seldom heard such beautiful singing.
- I shall never forget your kindness.
- I saw only then the danger we were in.
- We had no sooner left the house than it exploded.
- He didn't realize that he had lost the key till he got home.
- They not only robbed you, they smashed everything.
- Half a dozen apples fell down.
- If an emergency should arise, dial 999.
- If Rex were a little more hardworking, he would not have failed.
- If Mr Chan had been kinder to his employees, his business would not have collapsed.
- Hardly had we started when it began to rain.
- Seldom have I heard such beautiful singing.
- Never shall I forget your kindness.
- Only then did I see the danger we were in.
- No sooner had we left the house than it exploded.
- Not till he got home did he realize that he had lost the key.
- Not only did they rob you, they smashed everything.
- Down fell half a dozen apples.
- Should an emergency arise, dial 999.
- Were Rex a little more hardworking, he would not have failed.
- Had Mr Chan been kinder to his employees, his business would not have collapsed.
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