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 Member24
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 Member77,891
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Thanks for replying.
Looking for ESL work?: Try our EFL / TOEFL / ESL Jobs Section!
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
Veteran Member69,991
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Thank you very mich. This is perfect explanation and really helpful distinguishing three other possible forms (which you showed) and using them all correctly.
I see this is an ancient thread, but (A) sure sounds incorrect to me. While you can of course say "Not until 2010 did the family reunite", can you really say "It was not until 2010 did the family reunite"?
Veteran Member15,730
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
GPYcan you really say "It was not until 2010 did the family reunite"?
No.
Veteran Member20,833
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
GPY (A) sure sounds incorrect to me.
It is incorrect.

CJ
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
The correct answer is B
As the form: It was not until......that S+ Ved....
If the answer were A the form must be: Not until........did S + V....(means u have to use inversion when u place "Not until.." at the beginning of a sentence.