Friday, August 24, 2007

Compound nouns

Compound noun are those nouns which consist of two (wallpaper, blackboard), three (brother-in-law) or more parts. Such parts can be two nouns (e.g. wallpaper, raincoat), a noun with a verb (e.g. typewriter) as well as an adjective with a noun (e.g. blackboard).

It also quite common to see the gerund form (-ing) connected to a noun, as in a frying pan, a dining-room or a noun with the gerund form (e.g sightseeing). Some nouns can be used as an adjective:

  • a car key
  • a toy shop
  • a table leg
  • etc.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Inversion of the verb after certain adverbs

In this article, we're going to have a look at inversion that sometimes takes place with certain adverbs and adverb phrases, mostly with a negative or restrictive sense. Such adverbs (adverb phrases) can be placed first in a sentence or clause for emphasis. They are then followed by the interrogative (i.e. inverted ) form of the verb.

The most important of these adverbs include:

  • hardly ever
  • never
  • scarcely ever
  • only by
  • in no circumstances
  • only in this way on no account
  • hardly . . . when
  • only then/when no sooner . . . than
  • scarcely . . . when
  • not only
  • seldom
  • nowhere
  • not till
  • so
  • neither/nor

Examples of how to use them:

  • I had never before been to lie. =
    Never before had I been asked to lie.
  • a) / haven't got any money.
    b) Neither/Nor have I.

  • They not only rob you, they smash everything too. =
    Not only do they rob you, they smash everything too.

  • She became so depressed that. . . =
    So sepressed did she become that. . .

  • This switch must not be touched on any account. =
    On no account must this switch be touched.

  • Mike didn't realize how difficult how situation was till he received the letter. =
    Not till he received the letter did he realize how difficult his situation was.

Also note that a second negative verb in a sentence can sometimes be expressed by nor with inversion:

She had no friends and didn't know anyone who could help her. =
She had no friends, nor did she know anyone who could help her.



Inversion of Word Order for Emphasis

Inversion not only can be used to form questions and conditional sentences. Also, we can use inversion for emphasis.

  • Little did she know how much work was left.
  • On no account must you sleep at school.
  • Never should you remember who's your boss.
  • Only then can you belong to me.
  • Here comes the sun.

All these structure are rather literary, which means there are more likely to appear in books.

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