inversion n.
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Inversion. after negative adverbials. Use:. in formal language, for rhetorical effect FORM: the question form of the main verb A Aux S V O Never have I heard such a thing! (I have never heard such a thing!) S Aux A V O

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inversion

Inversion

after negative adverbials

slide2
Use:
  • in formal language, for rhetorical effect

FORM: the question form of the main verb

A AuxSV O

NeverhaveI heard such a thing!

(I have never heard such a thing!)

S Aux A V O

Only laterdidIrealize what had happened.

Littledidsheknow about the consequences.

never rarely seldom
never, rarely, seldom

These are most commonly used with:

  • present perfect or past perfect

Seldomhas the team given a worseperformance.

Rarelyhad I had so much responsibility.

Neverhave I hearda weaker excuse!

Sentences of this type often contain comparatives.

hardly barely scarcely no sooner
hardly, barely, scarcely, no sooner
  • These refer to an event which quickly follows another in the past.
  • They are usually used with past perfect.

Hardlyhad the train leftthe station, whenthere was an explosion.

Scarcelyhad I entered the room whenthe phone rang.

No soonerhad I reached the door thanI realised it was locked.

  • No soonercan be followed by pastsimpleas well.

No soonerwas the team back on the pitch thanit started raining.