A grammar question on "It was not until..."?

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I am not sure about the correct grammar of this phrase. For example:
It was not until 2010....

A.did the family reunite
B.that the family reunited

I instinctually answered A when I saw this question. "It was not until 2010 did the family reunite."

However, I was suspicious about my answer after seeing a number of people answering B, thinking twice again, B could be right too, that is why I am posting this question here.

Which is the grammatically correct answer? and why? Thanks.
New Member22
Approved answer (verified by )
Hi,

I am not sure about the correct grammar of this phrase. For example:

It was not until 2010..

A.did the family reunite
B.that the family reunited

I instinctually answered A when I saw this question. "It was not until 2010 did the family reunite."

However, I was suspicious about my answer after seeing a number of people answering B, thinking twice again, B could be right too, that is why I am posting this question here.

My first choice would be B, but I wouldn't say A is wrong or incorrect.

Which is the grammatically correct answer? and why?

I would simply say that A is a more idiomatic and more literary wording, while B is more straightforward and conventional, and hence more common.

Clive
Veteran Member69,523
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Thanks for replying.
There is no inversion for negation in the highlighted element of a cleft structure (It is/was not ... that ...):

It was not until 2010 that the family reunited.

Without a cleft structure, initial negations trigger inversion:

Not until 2010 did the family reunite.
_______________

You can form both of these structures for most negations.

The hunters didn't return until Monday.
It was not until Monday that the hunters returned.
Not until Monday did the hunters return.
_______________

The same applies for "only":

It was only after it was too late that Jenny applied for the exemption.
Only after it was too late did Jenny apply for the exemption.

CJ
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