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IRBR CLIO - Mdulo: Ingls Regular - Professor: Anthony Rosenberg

Class 5 Inversions
Inversions

Inversions make your writing more sophisticated and formal. There are two main types you need to be
proficient in and try to use:

1) Inversions with conditional sentences; and


2) Inversions with negative adverbial phrases.

First, however, you need to be proficient with the conditional forms in English.

ZERO CONDITIONAL

- used for facts and routines or habits

e.g. If you have a registered job, you pay tax. This is a fact.
e.g. If illegal immigrants are caught in the US, they are usually deported. This is routine.

Notice the verb tenses used: present tense in both clauses of both examples.

FIRST CONDITIONAL

- used for future possibilities

e.g. If a Democrat wins the next election, will the policies change? It is a future possibility that the
policies will change.
e.g. They will file for indemnification if the government does not fulfill its promise. It is a future
possibility that they will file for indemnification.

Notice the verb tenses used: If Clause present tense / Main Clause future tense

SECOND CONDITIONAL

- used for unreal present situations

e.g. If the government SPENT less on salaries, there would be more for infrastructure.
- At the moment (currently), the government does not spend less on salaries; and there is not more
infrastructure.
e.g. I would change education if I were the President.
- I cannot change education; and I am not the President.

Notice the verb tenses: If Clause PAST TENSE;


Main Clause would + base form of verb (do)

THIRD CONDITIONAL

- used for unreal past situations

e.g. If he had understood the problem, he wouldn't have committed those mistakes.
- he did not understand the problem; and he did commit those mistakes
e.g. The minister would have gone to jail if he had not had immunity.
- The minister did not go to jail because he did in fact have immunity.

Notice the verb tenses used: If Clause past perfect tense / Main clause would + conditional
perfect tense (have done)
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INVERSIONS WITH CONDITIONAL SENTENCES

In this case, the conditional word 'if' is dropped and the inverted forms takes the place of the 'if clause'.

NB: All inverted conditionals take on the QUESTION FORM AUXILIARY + SUBJECT + VERB

a) Zero and First conditional inversion is possible with the word SHOULD

If you have a registered job, you pay tax.


Should you have a registered job, you pay tax.

- Should you have a registered job, you pay tax.

Aux+subject+verb

If a Democrat wins the next election, will the policies change?


Should a Democrat win the next election, will the policies change?

- S h o u l d a D e m o c r a t w i n t h e n e x t e l e c t i o n , will the policies change??

Aux + subject + verb

b) Second conditional inversion is possible with the word WERE

If the government spent less on salaries, there would be more for infrastructure.
It is unreal present because the government spends a lot on salaries.

- Were the government to spend less on salaries, there would be more for

Aux + subject + verb

c) Third conditional inversion is possible with the word HAD

If he had understood the problem, he wouldn't have committed those mistakes.

- Had he understood the problem, he wouldn't have committed those mistakes.

Aux+subject+verb

Negative forms the word NOT comes after the SUBJECT in all cases.
Had I not seen the bear, we would have been in grave danger.
Were I not in charge, who would know what to do?
Should you not take part in the conference, you will not be given the extra credit.

Here are some exercises:


1) If I had been drunk, I would have had an accident.
Had ____________________________________________________________________________________
2) If you were not a trained nurse, we could be in some trouble.
Were ___________________________________________________________________________________
3) If you want to stay, I have prepared an extra bed.
Should __________________________________________________________________________________
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Now you decide what word to start the inversion with.
4) If I were you, I wouldnt stand a chance.
________________________________________________________________________________________
5) If they feel like contacting us for whatever reason, advise them to use our online service.
________________________________________________________________________________________
6) If they spoke slower, wed understand them.
________________________________________________________________________________________
7) If I had more cash, I would cover you.
________________________________________________________________________________________
8) If I were taller, Id play basketball.
________________________________________________________________________________________
9) If our services do not meet your expectations, we will gladly refund your money.
________________________________________________________________________________________
10) If I hadnt had breakfast, Id join you for brunch.
________________________________________________________________________________________

Sites for you to practice conditionals

http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises_list/if.htm
http://www.englishpage.com/conditional/conditionalintro.html
http://www.englishexercises.org/makeagame/viewgame.asp?id=141
http://www.jgypk.u-szeged.hu/tanszek/angol/files/04%20Conditionals.doc

Here are some sites for inversions (remember, we havent seen all the rules yet!)

http://www.learn-english-today.com/lessons/lesson_contents/inversion-ex.htm
http://www.elt-time.com/forum/index.php?topic=1216.0;wap2

Negative Adverbials

An inversion with a negative adverbial is used to stress the uniqueness of an event.

Never have I been more insulted!

Aux+subject+verb

NB: All inversions with negative adverbials take on the QUESTION FORM AUXILIARY + SUBJECT + VERB

Seldom has he seen anything stranger.


Scarcely had I got out of bed when the doorbell rang.
No sooner had he finished dinner, when she walked in the door.
Little did he understand the situation.
Little have I read concerning nanotechnology.

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Adverbials with the word ONLY are also used in inversions.

Only then did I understand the problem.


Only after understanding the situation does the teacher make a comment.
Only when the crisis was over did the deputy get a good nights sleep.
Only if they file for loss of profit will the company need to prove anything.

Inversions are also common with the adverbials SO and SUCH.

So strange was the situation that I couldn't sleep.


So difficult is the test that some need 3 months to prepare.

So + adjective ... (inversion) that

Such is the moment that all greats traverse. Such is the stuff of dreams.

Correct these sentences. The inversions are incorrect.


Only with the best intentions he convened a meeting on a Saturday morning.
________________________________________________________________________________________
Not since the United Nations was founded we have faced such uncertainty concerning the new world order.
________________________________________________________________________________________
Rarely does senior UN officials become involved in relations between the national and state governments of
member countries.
________________________________________________________________________________________
Little we know regarding the full extent of his involvement in the incident.
________________________________________________________________________________________
Seldom does people understand the real concept of diplomacy.
________________________________________________________________________________________

Rewrite these sentences using inversions.


1) His statements were, in their totality, lies. They were so exaggerated.
So _____________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
2) The envoy stressed that Moscow is against the Ukraines and Georgias entry into NATO. He also stressed
that Kiev itself was not going to join the military bloc.
Not only ________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
3) Immigration has rarely dominated public discourse as it has recently.
Rarely __________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
4) The fleet would be forced to defend against attacks from the air. They would also be confronted with
suicide attacks.
Not only ________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________

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5) This is the first time the country has witnessed corruption in public life in such magnitude!
Never before _____________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
6) Independent institutions began to develop their programs. Immediately after, the Cold War suddenly
came to an end.
Barely __________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
7) No human can be regarded as a mere slave or instrument for making money.
On no account ___________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
8) Peace was instilled. Not one day later, another uprising began.
Hardly __________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
9) The American role in Vietnam had just ebbed when the Watergate affair dealt a grave blow to the trust
that remained in the Presidency.
No sooner _______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
10) There was so much uncertainty surrounding the Shining Path in Peru that nobody knew what would
happen next.
Such ___________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
11) It is not common to find history on the brutal massacre of Armenians in any scholarly journal.
Seldom _________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
12) The foreign minister would only comment on leaked information after reading the documents.
Only ___________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Rewrite these sentences using standard word order, making them more informal.
1) Nowhere in the world are people free from the influence of television.
People __________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
2) Not since the printing press has there been an invention which so radically affected society.
There ______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
3) However, not a single case of violence have researchers found that could be linked to television.
You ________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
Now rewrite these sentences, giving them a more formal tone.
4) Busy parents can seldom resist the temptation to use the television as a childminder.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
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5) Television not only discourages conversation, but it also encourages anti-social behavior, some claim.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
6) Employees can, under no circumstances, wear short-sleeves or any clothing that reveals their arms.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
Rewrite the sentences using the word in capitals. Try to use inversion if the original is not.
7) The money is not to be paid under any circumstances. NO
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
8) Three days passed before we arrived at the first oasis. NOT UNTIL
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
9) Hardly had the ship left port, (than) a violent storm developed. SOON AFTER
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
10) They would have discovered land sooner had they carried a compass. IF
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
11) Little did Brenda know what she was letting herself in for. IDEA
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
12) It was only when I stopped that I realized something was wrong. DID I
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
Decide on the best adverbs to start the sentences with and make inversions with them.
1) I had never before been to lie.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
2) They not only rob you, they smash everything too.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
3) She became so depressed that.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
4) This switch must not be touched on any account.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
5) Mike didn't realize how difficult how situation was till he received the letter.
_______________________________________________________________________________________

First, write the correct conditional sentence (a). Then, make the inversion (b).
E.g. If you (find) a skeleton in the cellar don't mention it to anyone.
a)_________If you find a skeleton in the cellar, dont mention it to anyone (Zero Conditional)__________
b)_________Should you find a skeleton in the cellar, dont mention it to anyone.____________________

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1) If you pass your examination we (have) a celebration.
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
2) What (happen) if I press this button?
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
3) I should have voted for her if I (have) a vote then.
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
4) If you go to Paris where you (stay)?
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
5) If someone offered to buy you one of those rings, which you (choose)?
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
6) The flight may be cancelled if the fog (get) thicker.
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
7) If the milkman (come) tell him to leave two pints.
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
8) Someone (sit) on your glasses if you leave them there.
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
9) You would play better bridge if you (not talk) so much.
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
10) What I (do) if I hear the burglar alarm?
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
11) If you (read) the instructions carefully you wouldn't have answered the wrong question.
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________
12) I could repair the roof myself if I (have) a long ladder.
a)____________________________________________________________________________________
b)____________________________________________________________________________________

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ANSWER KEY FOR EXTRA EXERCISES
REWRITE THESE SENTENCES USING STANDARD WORD ORDER, MAKING THEM MORE
INFORMAL.
1) Nowhere in the world are people free from the influence of television.
People are not free from the influence of television anywhere in the world.
2) Not since the printing press has there been an invention which so radically affected society.
There has not been an invention which so radically affected society since the printing press.
3) However, not a single case of violence have researchers found that could be linked to television.
You cannot find a single case of violence that could be linked to television, according to
researchers.
NOW REWRITE THESE SENTENCES, GIVING THEM A MORE FORMAL TONE.
4) Busy parents can seldom resist the temptation to use the television as a childminder.
Seldom can busy parents resist the temptation to use the television as a childminder.
5) Television not only discourages conversation, but it also encourages anti-social behavior, some claim.
Not only does television discourage conversation, but it also encourages anti-social behavior,
some claim
6) Employees can, under no circumstances, wear short-sleeves or any clothing that reveals their arms.
Under no circumstances can employees wear short-sleeves or any clothing that reveals their
arms.
REWRITE THE SENTENCES USING THE WORD IN CAPITALS.
7) The money is not to be paid under any circumstances. NO
Under no circumstances is (the) money to be paid. No money is to be paid under any
circumstances.
8) Three days passed before we arrived at the first oasis. NOT UNTIL
Not until three days had passed did we arrive at the first oasis.
9) Hardly had the ship left port, (than) a violent storm developed. SOON AFTER
Soon after the ship had left port, a violent storm developed.
10) They would have discovered land sooner had they carried a compass. IF
They would have discovered land sooner if they had carried a compass.
11) Little did Brenda know what she was letting herself in for. IDEA
Brenda had almost no idea what she was letting herself in for.
12) It was only when I stopped that I realized something was wrong. DID I
Only when I had stopped did I realize something was wrong.

1) I had never before been told to lie. =


Never before had I been told to lie.
2) They not only rob you, they smash everything too. =
Not only do they rob you, they smash everything too.
3) She became so depressed that. . . =
So depressed did she become that she left her job.
4) This switch must not be touched on any account. =
On no account must this switch be touched.
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5) Mike didn't realize how difficult how situation was until he received the letter. =
Not until he received the letter did he realize how difficult his situation was.

E.g. If you (find) a skeleton in the cellar don't mention it to anyone.


a)_________If you find a skeleton in the cellar, dont mention it to anyone (Zero Conditional)__________
b)_________Should you find a skeleton in the cellar, dont mention it to anyone.____________________
1) If you pass your examination, we (have) a celebration.
a) If you pass your examination, we will have a celebration.
b) Should you pass your examination, we will have a celebration.
2) What (happen) if I press this button?
a) What will happen if I press this button?
b) What will happen should I press this button?
3) I would have voted for her if I (to be able) to vote then.
a) I would have voted for her if I had been able to vote then.
b) I would have voted for her had I been able to vote then.
4) If you go to Paris where you (stay)?
a) If you go to Paris where will you stay?
b) Should you go to Paris where will you stay?
5) If someone offered to buy you one of those rings, which you (choose)?
a) If someone offered to buy you one of those rings, which would you choose?
b) Were someone to offer to buy you one of those rings, which would you choose?
6) The flight may be cancelled if the fog (get) thicker.
a) The flight may be cancelled if the fog gets thicker.
b) The flight may be cancelled should the fog get thicker.
7) If the milkman (come), tell him to leave two pints.
a) If the milkman comes, tell him to leave two pints.
b) Should the milkman come, tell him to leave two pints.
8) Someone (sit) on your glasses if you leave them there.
a) Someone will sit on your glasses if you leave them there.
b) Someone will sit on your glasses should you leave them there.
9) You would play better bridge if you (not talk) so much.
a) You would play better bridge if you did not talk so much.
b) You would play better bridge were you not to talk so much.
10) What I (do) if I hear the burglar alarm?
a) What will I do if I hear the burglar alarm? / What should I do if I hear the burglar alarm?
b) What will I do should I hear the burglar alarm?
11) If you (read) the instructions carefully you wouldn't have answered the wrong question.
a) If you had read the instructions carefully, you wouldn't have answered the wrong question.
b) Had you read the instructions carefully, you wouldn't have answered the wrong question.
12) I could repair the roof myself if I (have) a long ladder.
a) I could repair the roof myself if I had a long ladder.
b) I could repair the roof myself were I to have a long ladder.
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