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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Inversion of subject and verb    

Inversion of subject and verb

Terri Lawson
New Zealand

Inversion of subject and verb
I am new to the topic of inversion, and have a question to ask of the grammarians among you. I understand that if a sentence begins with a negative adverb, you invert subject and verb, and the exceptions to this are: not long and not far. Why then, is this sentence not inverted?
Not every so-called labour-saving device actually makes life easier.
I have downloaded and searched for answers on this site, but not come up with anything yet.
Thanks a million in advance

29 Aug 2013      

Czech Republic

Hi Terri,

in my opinion, inversion does not take place in this case because "not every" is not an adverbial expression. It has the function of adjective and is tightly linked to the subject, therefore it would sound weird to insert a verb between the two elements....

30 Aug 2013     

Terri Lawson
New Zealand

Hi Akari
That �s very helpful - thanks a ton. I guess I just need to clarify adverb/adjective in my own mind.
As always, it is such a joy to belong to this amazing community of teachers!!!
Thanks again

30 Aug 2013