November 05, 2008


Little had I any knowledge that this would go this way.
Hardly had I finished my tea when the door bell rang.
Under no circumstance should the cell phone be left charging in a train.

Mark the above sentences.  In the above sentences there is inversion of the usual order of subject and verb.  (Had+ I, verb+ subject).  In questions generally, you do this inversion but solely for putting emphasis on the statement, the inversion is done and while speaking the inverted part is emphasized with loudness or extra stress.

There are some expressions and adverbs in which generally this technique of inversion is resorted to.  Remember, in the above sentences the adverbs ‘Little’, ‘Hardly’ and the expression ‘Under no circumstances’ are used in the beginning of a sentence.  The above sentences can also be written without any inversion in this way.

I had little knowledge that this would go this way. 
I had hardly finished when the door bell rang.
Cell phones should not be left charging in a train under any circumstances.
Generally negative sentences are inverted for emphasis. 

Not a word did the prime minister say about the plight of the marooned peoples.
When expressions like Neither, Not only, Hardly, Scarcely, Rarely, Never, No where, Not a word, Not until, Seldom, No sooner, At no time, Only Yesterday comes in the beginning of a sentence the inversion is resorted to.  When there happen to be no Auxiliary verb or operator the operator DO is used and formed the inversion, and generally the operator in present tense is not used and remains in the background.  But when a sentence is written in past tense the operator comes to the fore in the form of past tense. 

Generally, when a sentence begins with an expression of place, often inversion is done.
Before them lay miles and miles of forest and mountain.
When Here and There are used in the beginning of a sentence the inversion is resorted to.
Here comes  Barack Obama, president elect of the United States.
There goes the cavalcade of the Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh of India
Under a tree was sitting the smallest man I have ever seen.
On the bed lay an old lady.

Remember, this inversion is done only for emphasis.  Many writers deliberately resort to this technique solely to drive a particular point to the minds of their readers. 

Enjoy this short lessons and rest assured I will be back with more such lessons.  Till next time it is bye, bye.  Keep a good health, enjoy your spare time.  Please don’t subscribe or bookmark any post or this blog no matter how strong is the urge to click the mouse of your computer.  Ha ha.  Take care friends.  

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