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Usually, we speak English like this:
“I’ve never seen such a cute bat.”

If we want to be more dramatic, we can invert the sentence for greater effect:
“Never have I seen such a cute bat.”

Here’s another example:
“As soon as I finished the cocktail, he bought me another one”
This can be inverted to:
“No sooner had I finished the cocktail than he bought me another one.”

You could also say:
“Hardly had I finished the cocktail when he bought me another one.”
“Barely had I finished the cocktail when he bought me another one.”
“Scarcely had I finished the cocktail when he bought me another one.”


Here’s an inversion with not only
“Pepito not only speaks English, but he also speaks Japanese.”
Not only does Pepito speak English, but he also speaks Japanese.”


We can invert sentences for emphasis and dramatic effect. Inversion is more common in written English than spoken English. Here’s another example:
“James didn’t start shooting until he saw the whites of their eyes.”

For more effect, we can say:
“Not until he saw the whites of their eyes, did James start shooting.”

We can also say:
“Only when he saw the whites of their eyes, did James start shooting.”
Or
“Only after he saw the whites of their eyes, did James start shooting.”

Notice what happens to the position of the verb after adverbials like never, nowhere, not and rarely….
Never had he seen such a cute bat.
Not until I got home did I realize how drunk I was.
Nowhere will you have a better view.
Rarely do you enjoy such attentive service.

 

In the following exercise, write words in the gap in the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first.

1. We have never been more proud of our daughter.
Never before of our daughter.
2. You rarely see such a magnificent performance.
Rarely a magnificent performance.
3. I hadn’t eaten a better steak anywhere.
Nowhere steak.
4. Pepito didn’t see the lorry’s headlights until it was too late.
Not until Pepito see the lorry’s headlights.

Answers Check your answers.

Listen and repeat.
   

Do the same with the following sentences.

1. As soon as Pepito arrived, we grabbed our coats, said goodbye and left.
No sooner we grabbed our coats, said goodbye and left.
2. You shouldn’t be late on any account.
On late.
3. The moment I sat down, they started to criticize me.
Scarcely they started to critisize me.
4. You must not allow children under 16 years of age to enter under any circumstances.
Under under the age of 16 be allowed to enter.
5. His wife knew little of his serious gambling habit.
Little of his serious gambling habit.
6. I only realized I loved her after she'd gone.
Only realize I loved her.
7. Pepito didn't speak about his drug problem at any time.
At about his drug problem.
8. He not only had an amazing body and a handsome face, but he also had a degree in astrophysics.
Not only body and a handsome face, but he also had a degree in astrophysics.

You must not allow children under
 16 years of age to enter under any
circumstances.

Answers Check your answers.

Listen and repeat.
   

Conditional sentences
Notice the changes in the following conditional ‘if’ sentences

First Conditional

If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Second Conditional

If you got the job, would you be prepared to move to the US?
Were you to get the job, would you be prepared to move to the US?

Third conditional

If I had known you were a recovering alcoholic, I wouldn't have brought the wine.
Had I known you were a recovering alcoholic, I wouldn't have brought the wine.

Now practise by transforming the following sentences.

1. If you see my ex-wife, please give her my best wishes.
Should my ex-wife, please give her my best wishes.
2. If your boss found out, it would be a disaster.
Were , it would be a disaster.
3. Please notify me, if there is any change in your circumstances.
Please notify me, should change in your circumstances.
4. If I had I known she was going to be here, I wouldn't have come.
Had was going to be here, I wouldn't have come.
5. If you came back as an animal in the next life, which animal would you choose?
Were as an animal in the next life, which animal would you choose?
6. If it hadn't been for the GPS app on our mobile phone, we'd never have found our way here.
Had the GPS app on our mobile phone, we'd never have found our way here.

Answers Check your answers.

Listen and repeat.
   
Sentences can also be inverted after so and such

“He was so nervous during the interview that he couldn’t speak.”

So nervous was he during the interview that he couldn’t speak.”
Such was his nervousness during the interview that he couldn’t speak.”
 

Now practise by transforming the following sentences using so and such.

She was so happy that she couldn’t stop smiling.

With so: So happy was she that she couldn’t stop smiling.
With such: Such was her happiness that she couldn’t stop smiling.


1. We were so exhausted that we both fell asleep on the sofa.
So that we both fell asleep on the sofa.
Such that we both fell asleep on the sofa.
2. We were so surprised to hear about your wedding that we had to phone immediately to congratulate you.
So about your wedding that we had to phone immediately to congratulate you.
Such to hear about your wedding that we had to phone immediately to congratulate you.
3. Pepito was so depressed that he went to the pub and got drunk.
So that he went to the pub and got drunk.
Such that he went to the pub and got drunk.
4. I was so ashamed that I couldn’t show my face.
So that I couldn’t show my face.
Such that I couldn’t show my face.


Answers Check your answers.

Listen and repeat.
   

 

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