Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 9

INVERSION

Inverted Subjects and Verbs

Inverted subjects and verbs

There are several cases when we invert the subject and verb of a sentence.
That is, the subject and verb (or subject and helping verb) change places. This
happens

When we make a question

When the sentence starts with a place expression (sometimes)

When the sentence begins with certain negative expressions

When we use a conditional without the word if

When the sentence has a comparison (sometimes)

QUESTIONS

In many questions, the subject and verb are inverted:


Sacramento is the capital of California. (with the verb be)
S
V
Is Sacramento the capital of California?
V
S
Why is Sacramento the capital of California?
V
S
The students all passed the test. (with another verbnot be)
S
V
Did the students all pass the test?
V
S
V
When did the students pass the test?
V
S
V

PLACE EXPRESSIONS

When a sentence starts with a word or phrase that tells where, we sometimes
invert the subject and verb.

We often do this in sentences that start with the words there, here, and nowhere.
(There, here, and nowhere are not the subjects of these sentences.)
There is a big spider on your shoulder. (Spider = subject)
Look! There are two Starbucks only a block apart.

(Starbucks = subject)
Here are the books that I borrowed. (Books = subject)
Here in my hand is a shiny, new dime. (Dime = subject)
Nowhere will you find a perfect place to live. (You = subject)
Nowhere else have I seen such beautiful flowers. (I = subject)

These negative and almost-negative words at the beginning of a


sentence cause the subject and verb to change positions:
no
not
never

neither
nor
barely

hardly
only

rarely
scarcely
seldom

Sometimes these words are part of a phrase with other words:


Not only was he late, but he didnt even apologize.
Only occasionally does she go to the movies.

CONDITIONALS

However, we can sometimes make conditionals in another way. If the


conditional clause has the helping verbs had, were, or should (but not
others), we can omit if and invert the subject and verb:
[If you should need help], please let me know.
[Should you need help], please let me know.
[If I were rich], I would buy a new car.
[Were I rich], I would buy a new car.
[If he had studied harder], he would have passed the test.
[Had he studied harder], he would have passed the test.

COMPARISONS

Sometimes we put a sentence after than.


Elephants are bigger than mice are.
I think chemistry is more interesting than math is.
He has more money than I do.
You have learned this lesson more quickly than I have.
In this case, we can invert the order of the subject and verb in the
clause after than.
Elephants are bigger than are mice.
I think chemistry is more interesting than is math.
He has more money than do I.
You have learned this lesson more quickly than have I.

1. Were I a bird, I .fly as high as I can


A. Will
B. Would
C. Can
D. Could
2. Here the paper you asked for
A. Is
B. Are
C. Was
D. were
3. Never . seen such a beautiful place
A. have I
B. I have
C. has I
D I has

4. . she dance last night?


A. did
B. do
C. are
D. is

5. Not only is he handsome but he ..also rich


A. are
B. was
C. is
D. has