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I have several questions today.

Question 1]

a) The letter came to me only yesterday. --> Only yesterday did the letter come to me.

In intro adverbial inversion, when [Only yesterday] is emphasized, the aux. [did] should be inserted, but what about this one?

b) Only yesterday come the letter to me.

Is b) grammartically correct? Like "The men fell down --> Down fell the man"?

Questions 2]

a) The rich are never happy.
b) The rich are not always happy at all.
c) The rich are not always happy in the least.

Do those three sentences convey the same meaning? To me, b) and c) sound a bit redundant. Do native speakers commonly use the construction [not... in the least]?

Question 3]

a) When you enter into a conversation or write a letter or report, you have to have something to say and some purpose and interest in expressing [that something], whatever it is.

...expressing [that something]... Does this part sound correct to native speakers?

Question 4]

a) When it came to our music, we could each understand what the other was saying.

IMHO, "When it comes to" is a fixed phrase like a preposition, so I don't think we need to inflect the verb "comes" even though the tense is past. So, then should I say "when it came to..." like a) or is it OK to use "when it comes to..." in that context.

Questions 5]

a) John is a high school senior and wants to go college.
b) You should apply to the colleges you want to go.

Is "Go college" instead of "Go to college" acceptable in this context?

Thanks in advance!

Jay from ROK
Comments  
Question 1]

a) The letter came to me only yesterday. --> Only yesterday did the letter come to me.

In intro adverbial inversion, when [Only yesterday] is emphasized, the aux. [did] should be inserted, but what about this one?

b) Only yesterday come the letter to me.

Is b) grammartically correct? No. "came" is what you want - and no inversion. "Only yesterday the letter came to me" Like "The men fell down --> Down fell the man"? "Down fell the [man / men]" is quite unusual, but grammatical.

Questions 2]

a) The rich are never happy.
b) The rich are not always happy at all.
c) The rich are not always happy in the least.

Do those three sentences convey the same meaning? No. "never" and "not always" are very different. To me, b) and c) sound a bit redundant. Do native speakers commonly use the construction [not... in the least]? I don't use it often. I would add "bit" and use something like "The rich are not the least bit happy"

Question 3]

a) When you enter into a conversation or write a letter or report, you have to have something to say and some purpose and interest in expressing [that something], whatever it is.

...expressing [that something]... Does this part sound correct to native speakers? Yes.

Question 4]

a) When it came to our music, we could each understand what the other was saying.

IMHO, "When it comes to" is a fixed phrase like a preposition, so I don't think we need to inflect the verb "comes" even though the tense is past. So, then should I say "when it came to..." like a) or is it OK to use "when it comes to..." in that context. What you have is fine. I don't recommend "When it comes to" in that sentence.

Questions 5]

a) John is a high school senior and wants to go college.
b) You should apply to the colleges you want to go. You need "colleges you want to go to" here.

Is "Go college" instead of "Go to college" acceptable in this context? No. Impossible!
thanks a lot
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You're welcome.

I misspoke on the following issue:
b) Only yesterday come the letter to me.

Is b) grammatically correct? No. "came" is what you want - and no inversion. "Only yesterday the letter came to me"


Here you want either "The letter came to me only yesterday" or "Only yesterday did the letter come to me".

By the way, "came to me" is not the most idiomatic way of talking about letters. If "the letter" is to be the subject, "arrived" might be better than "came to me". Alternately, "I received the letter."

CJ
Hello CJ

Could you allow me to ask you a question just for confirming my English knowledge.
Dcomest's question:
Do native speakers commonly use the construction [not... in the least]?

CalifJim's answer:
I don't use it often. I would add "bit" and use something like "The rich are not the least bit happy"

Do you say "The rich are not in the least (bit) happy"? I am asking if the 'in' here sounds redundant in AmE?

paco
Paco,

My attention is not drawn to either form - with or without "in" - so I wouldn't say that "in" sounds redundant. It simply sounds like another equally acceptable variant. (But I would not use either one without "bit"!)

CJ
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Hello CJ
(But I would not use either one without "bit"!)

The google result about this matter is;
(1) not the least bit happy 888
(2) not the least happy 343
(3) not in the least bit happy 258
(4) not in the least happy 397
I feel the sample sizes are a bit too small.

paco