In this English grammar lesson you will learn how we use INVERSION in English.
This is a technique that we use in English and it is handy to know how to use it properly especially when you are writing.
In fact, using inversion is one way you can show examiners that you can use advanced grammar structures.
Inversion is when you invert the subject and the verb of a sentence.
Normal sentence: SUBJECT + VERB If I had known…
Inversion: VERB + SUBJECT Had I known…
We use inversion in English in three main ways:
- With conditionals
- Had I known it was going to rain, I would have brought an umbrella with me. (If I had known…)
- Had John known he was going to work at weekends, I doubt he would have taken the job. (If John had known…)
2. After negative adverbs like barely, hardly, rarely, scarcely, seldom, never
- Barely had we arrived when it started to rain. (We had barely arrived…)
- Rarely have I seen such a beautiful animal. (I have rarely seen…)
- Never again will I eat at that restaurant. The food was terrible. (I will never again eat…)
3. With adverb phrases
- Under no circumstances are students allowed to bring their phones to class.
- At no time did he tell me he wasn’t happy working here.
- On no account are you to take offices supplies home.
As you can see, it is not difficult to invert the subject and the verb as long as you know when you can do it.
Remember to practice this technique as often as you can, especially when you are writing. It will improve your English a lot.
Here are some other ways we can use this structure.
And don’t forget watch another lesson.
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