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Hi,

So there we were, an American and a Dane meeting in Australia to talk about the Russian Revolution.

Could someone please break this sentence down for me? Is there are word for the word order at the start of the sentence? Why is it "so there we were" rather than "so we were there"?

This is just past continous, not historical present or anything like that, right?

We (an American and a Dane) were meeting there (in Australia) to talk about the Russian Revolution.

Thanks a lot.
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I cannot think of any special explanation for there we were except that it's a fixed phrase so often used that any deviation from it sounds unnatural. Placing there before we were makes it more emphatic. This is normal in all Germanic languages and English is no exception. Consider these two sentences:

I met him yesterday.
Yesterday I met him.

English differs from the other Germanic languages in that no inversion is used in sentences beginning with an adverb.

"So there we were, an American and a Dane meeting in Australia to talk about the Russian Revolution."

Meeting is used to introduce a reduced relative clause, or a clause equivalent, as they are called in Scandinavia: ... an American and a Dane who met/were meeting in Australia...

CB
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Thank you! That helped a lot!