Unit 9.1

Inversion in Conditional Sentences

Syntax

Inversion happens when we invert the normal order of a sentence, mostly the form of the subject-verb.

Inversion is used in conditional sentences to make sentences more formal.

To make an inversion in conditional sentences we first omit the if.

In real conditionals, we can see should in inversion.

The structure is:
Should/had + clause 1 + , + clause 2

  • Had I known about the draft beer, I would have bought it instantly.
  • Had he helped me with the lamb leg , I wouldn’t have cut my hand.
  • Should you want to be thin, you must eat food that has low sugar and salt.
  • Were children not to digest what they eat, they usually would have stomachache.

We use inversion in conditional sentences mainly in formal situations.

We don’t use the contracted forms of negative clauses in inversion.

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