C1 · C2 · Grammar


  • It is a literary technique in which the normal order of words is reversed, generally for emphasis or special effect.
  • It makes a sentence sound striking or unusual.
  • It also sounds quite formal. Sentences with inversion are less common in ordinary English.

If you are a fan of The Big Bang Theory, you surely noticed Sheldon’s use (and abuse) of inversions. Here’s a link on one of his inversions with ‘nor’.

Watch video for lesson

Now you can take the test. Click the quiz button below. As this quiz is a little tricky, read the instructions first.

Read the sentences and rewrite them keeping to the original meaning as far as possible. Use the word in capital letters for your new sentence (these words will give you a clue of the type of inversion that you should use). ONLY WRITE THE MISSING WORDS In this activity, you have to complete the sentences with inversions. Use a maximum of seven words for each blank. Avoid using contractions as the programme will interpret this as an error, even if the answer is grammatically correct. 

Created by blogdeserena





Activity by Serena

Hank was so happy that morning that he smiled to everybody on his way to work. SO

______ that he smiled to everybody on his way to work.

The forest was burnt down first then acid rain fell. SOONER

No ___ burnt down than acid rain fell.

The sun does not shine long enough for solar panels to be useful here. RARELY

_________ for solar panels to be useful here.


I won't walk to work, whatever may happen. CIRCUMSTANCES

__________ I walk to work.

The planet has never warmed up so quickly before.NEVER

_______ warmed up so quickly.

Michael would never move to the country because he would miss his friends. ACCOUNT

Under _____ move to the country because he would miss his friends.

Wind farms are unpleasant to look at as well as being noisy. NOT ONLY

________ look at, they are also noisy.

Julia walked to school and her friend Sue also walked there. AS

Julia walked to school _____ friend Sue.

I don't forget to switch off my computer very often. SELDOM

________ to switch off my computer.

The tornado was so fierce that we sought refuge in the basement. WAS

So ______ that we sought refuge in the basement.

He will paint and redecorate the room. WILL

Not only ____ , he will also redecorate it.

You should never spend more than you can afford, on any account. SHOULD

On no account ______ more than you can afford.

If I were you I wouldn't go out in that weather. WERE

______,  I wouldn't go out in that weather.

He didn't realise that his experiment would change the future of science. LITTLE

__________that his experiment would change the future of science.

I hadn't seen such pollution anywhere. NOWHERE

_________________ seem such pollution.

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