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I have some questions when practising for the Toefl test.

1. The westerm part of Oregon generally receives more rain than does the eastern part.
The westerm part of Oregon generally receives more rain than the eastern part does.
Both are true?? We can invert the auxiliary verb?

2. It was not until 1937 when the southernmost source of the Nile River was discovered.
It was not until 1937 that the southernmost source of the Nile River was discovered.
The latter is true, but I dont understand why we can't use "when" here!!!

3. During the two centuries between Herschel and Voyager, relatively little was learned about the planet Uranus.
This is the fixed sentence I get from the answer key. However, I cant find the subject of this sentence. Is the subject "the planet Uranus"? Is this an inversion?
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Anonymous

1. The westerm part of Oregon generally receives more rain than does the eastern part.
The westerm part of Oregon generally receives more rain than the eastern part does.
Both are true?? We can invert the auxiliary verb? I'd only put "does" at the end, but I'm not sure the other way is really bad. It's just that I think most people would put it at the end. Wait for a native speaker Emotion: wink

2. It was not until 1937 when the southernmost source of the Nile River was discovered.
It was not until 1937 that the southernmost source of the Nile River was discovered.
The latter is true, but I dont understand why we can't use "when" here!!! Only "that"

3. During the two centuries between Herschel and Voyager, relatively little was learned about the planet Uranus.
This is the fixed sentence I get from the answer key. However, I cant find the subject of this sentence. Is the subject "the planet Uranus"? Is this an inversion? I think the subject is "little"
Don't say that something is true when you mean "correct", "ok", or "right". There's a big difference.
The earth is a big cube that travels in space moving at random is grammatically ok, but it's not true.

Emotion: smile
My try:

. The westerm part of Oregon generally receives more rain than does the eastern part.
The westerm part of Oregon generally receives more rain than the eastern part does.
Both are true?? no. We can invert the auxiliary verb? no --- First sentence is correct.

2 question. I can't explain it!

3. During the two centuries between Herschel and Voyager, relatively little was learned about the planet Uranus.
This is the fixed sentence I get from the answer key. However, I cant find the subject of this sentence. Is the subject "the planet Uranus"? Is this an inversion?


The words I wrote in pink form a dependant clause and you shouldn't try to find the subject in a dependant clause. The clause in green is the main clause and this question to find the subject: "what was learned about the planet Uranus?" The answer will be " relatively little". The word little may confuse you. You can add information. Relatively little (information) was learned...."
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Hi,

I have some questions when practising for the Toefl test.

1. The westerm part of Oregon generally receives more rain than does the eastern part.
The westerm part of Oregon generally receives more rain than the eastern part does.
Both are true?? We can invert the auxiliary verb? Yes. It sounds rather literary and stylish.



2. It was not until 1937 when the southernmost source of the Nile River was discovered.
It was not until 1937 that the southernmost source of the Nile River was discovered.
The latter is true, but I dont understand why we can't use "when" here!!!

When you say 'not until 1937', it's like saying 'not for a period of time', ie 'from the start of the world up to 1937'. In other words, it's like saying, eg 'not for many, many years'.

Consider these examples..

You can't say 'It was not for a period of time when I spoke to him'. But you can use '. . . that I spoke to him'.

You can't say 'It was not for many years when I spoke to him' but you can say '. . . that I spoke to him'.

Similarly, you can't say 'It was not until 1937 when the southernmost source of the Nile River was discovered'. But you can say 'It was not until 1937 that the southernmost source of the Nile River was discovered'.

It works the same way if you remove the 'not'. You can't say 'It was until 1937 when he worked there', but you can say 'It was until 1937 that he worked there', although it is an awkward sentence.

3. I agree with what has been said about 'little'.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi Clive,

I agree with you that because 'it is not until ...' represents a time-span, while 'when' is used to denote a point in time, they do not agree well.

However, if 'until ABC' is used as a time marker (i.e., ABC), would the following sentence be all right or we must rewrite it?

He remained a forgotten figure in history until 1997, when his story was uncovered. (when means in 1997)

Thanks,

Hi,

I agree with you that because 'it is not until ...' represents a time-span, while 'when' is used to denote a point in time, they do not agree well.

However, if 'until ABC' is used as a time marker (i.e., ABC), would the following sentence be all right or we must rewrite it?

He remained a forgotten figure in history until 1997, when his story was uncovered. (when means in 1997)

This is OK because, as you note, the subordinate clause refers not to the period up to 1997, but to 1997 itself.

Consider that you'd have to say It was until 1997 that he was forgotten. You can't replace 'that' with 'when' here.

Consider also how we can add a 'when' clause like the one you suggest to the original example.

It was not until 1937, when an expedition finally fought its way through the previously impassable jungle, that the southernmost source of the Nile River was discovered.

Here, the 'when' clause refers to 1937 but the 'that' clause relates to something that did not happen in the time span up to 1937.

Clive
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Thanks!

I understand now.