"unusual grammar" in sentence!

Alles zur englischen Grammatik.
How to deal with English grammar.
Bilingual Newbie
Beiträge: 1
Registriert: 1. Sep 2004 17:46

"unusual grammar" in sentence!

Beitrag von ralfi »

I m new here, my name is ralfi

My english teacher gave us an example sentece and we should find out the "unusual grammar" in the sentence
I generally have prblems with grammar, i hope it is not bad regarded here to post just (a part) of the homework.
But please read:
Only recently have some attempts been made at compensation.
(...) 2.
(...) Not only is immigration one of the great sources of the american nation(,...)

Uhmm..i can recognize the strange sounding grammar there, but how to explain it?
Additionally, the teacher made the note that "some attempts" (s.a first sentece) is the subject..i think this was one-step or one note to the solution
So, what is unusual for these sentences

Thanks a lot for every answer[/b]

Topic Talker
Beiträge: 90
Registriert: 15. Jul 2004 10:02
Wohnort: prignitz

Beitrag von Baschtel »

"Only recently have some attempts been made at compensation."

Perfect participle after attempts, translate as a relative clause in simple perfect.

"Not only is immigration one of the great sources of the american nation(,...)"

Strange... , normally:
"Not only immigration is one of the great sources of the american nation."

Like the first sentences, "only" is used as a subject though it was a adverb or rather a conjunction as is generally known; consequently, the object in this sentences seems to be the actual subject.
That is about all.

Bilingual Newbie
Beiträge: 3
Registriert: 20. Sep 2004 11:43

Beitrag von berlin1 »

Hallo Ralfi,
I am new to this forum so I read your email today. I am a native English speaker trained in Linguistics. I can explain for you why the sentences you provided are unusual. Both sentences have undergone certain transformations from underlying sentences. Let us take the first as an example. The underlying "unmarked" sentence is "Some attempts have been made only recently at compensation". Firstly, the adverbial phrase "only recently" has been fronted, to make it the topic of the sentence. Secondly, subject-auxilliary inversion has occurred (by which I mean that the sequential order of "some attempts" and "have" has been changed. The same processes have applied to your second sentence. If I can help you any further with English I would be happy. Tchuss.