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To study inversion, I've forund the following website. But it's a site made or reffered by British Council. Please tell me if this topic with British usage has any inconsistency with American usage.

http://www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-central-grammar-inversion.htm

GB
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Well this article has increased my confusion about inversion. Uptil now, I thought that inversion was used in the following circumstances.

  • Questions
  • Negative and restrictive adverbs
  • So, nor and neither
  • Conditional clauses
  • May
  • Exclamations


  • But the following two examples in the American Heritage Book of English includes neither of these situations;

    • A handsome woman she seemed to all of us.
    • A huge appetite for work he had.
    • A huge appetite for work had he.


    • Please can you identify the situations where inversion can be used. Also is it necessary to use inverted form in the situations that I have described above.

      GB

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There are at least two kinds of inversion. The first type is subject-operator inversion. Another type is object fronting. In the last three cases you have object fronting in all three but subject-operator inversion only in the last (provided we allow main-verb have as an operator - as in British English) or you might just consider this subject-main verb inversion. Those last three cases may have been included for completeness in an article about inversion in general. They are optional and somewhat unusual. The third pattern, in fact, seems to me to be confined to poetic writing.

The first list you give appears to me to include all the cases where subject-operator inversion is used.

CJ
Thank You CJ. Your replies are always helpful.

GB
But CJ, two questions are still left out.

  1. Is it necessary to use (subject-operator) inverted form in all the following situation;
  • Questions
  • Negative and restrictive adverbs
  • So, nor and neither
  • Conditional clauses
  • May
  • Exclamations


  • 2. How would we know where to use an object-facing inversion or is it just a matter of style that one follows?

    GB

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Strictly speaking, no, it is not necessary to use subject-operator inversion in all questions, conditionals, etc.

You can ask a question by making a statement with a questioning tone of voice, for example.

So you're leaving for Holland this Friday?

Inversion in conditionals is optional and a stylistic variant. The inversion is used more as a literary device, not in ordinary conversation so much, unless you want to give the impression that you outclass your conversation partner!

If I were to tilt this cup to the side, the contents would spill out.
Were I to tilt this cup to the side, the contents would spill out.


I'm not familiar with the sort of things referred to in the categories "May" and "Exclamations". Can you give some examples?
________
It's object-fronting -- bringing the object to the front of the sentence -- not object-facing!

In ordinary conversation object-fronting occurs when you want to focus on the topic of discussion, and that topic is mentioned as the object of your sentence. You can state the object first to show your focus on it as a topic of conversation. Sometimes it occurs in a contrastive context. The object-fronted structure is found much less often than the standard word order in a normal conversation, but it can be useful.

-- Can you do calculus?
-- I'm not sure.
-- Can you add 2 and 2?
-- Now THAT I can do!!!
(that is a fronted object. The standard form would be: I can do that.)

Alice is progressing well in school, but James I'm worried about.
The sorts of things you are talking about I'm not familiar with.
I always buy Jiffy brand peanut butter. Other brands I don't buy.

CJ
Here are the examples for May and Exclamation.

May
May you both live happily ever after!

Exclamations
Aren't you a silly girl!
Isn't it a lovely day!


GB
These are some examples for May and Exclamation.

May
May you both live happily ever after!

Exclamations

Aren't you a silly girl!
Isn't it a lovely day!


GB
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