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can anyone help please

 
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mmaille



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 10:43 pm    Post subject: can anyone help please Reply with quote

I would like to know why we use the following construction:
"seldom had I ever seen such fear"> Why is the sequence adverb, verb, pronoun...is there some kind of rule? We cannot do this with "always"so does this only apply to certain adverbs of time? Why not simply say " I had seldom seen such fear">
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Glenski



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 164
Location: Sapporo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This type of inversion happens in formal or literary use with seldom, hardly, rarely, little, and never.

See Practical English Usage, by Michael Swan, section 298.5
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Roger



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 274

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This syntax is correct. This sentence structure with the adverb at the head of it is common when the interlocutor wants to EMPHASISE (put stress on) the adverb rather than on the verb.
Look at other utterances in which the word order is at variance with the standard S-V-O:
"I really want to have a drink NOW..."
'So DO I..."
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claire73



Joined: 24 Apr 2003
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is fine to put "seldom" at the beginning of the sentence, for emphasis. However, you do not need "ever" because it emphasises in a different way, for example "It was the worst shock I had ever had". Either "Seldom had I seen such fear" or "I had hardly ever seen such fear", but not a mixture.
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