phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Not since?

Posted by Henry on June 07, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Not since? posted by R. Berg on June 07, 2003

: : Now Could you tell me, what does this sentence mean and how to rewrite this inversion sentence in its normal sentence pattern?

: : "Not since World War Two have so many Americans spoken a foreign language at home."

: : I think it means "Never have so many Americans spoken a foreign language at home since World War Two."

: : but when I rewrite it using inversion grammar knowledge, I find it be "Since World War Two have not so many Americans spoken a foreign language at home.", which has the opposite meaning!

: To undo the inversion, you would write "So many Americans have not spoken a foreign language at home since World War II." The original (inverted) sentence, "Not since . . . ," is clearer, however.

You have understood the sentence, but this negative is very tricky - it does require care! This may make it clearer.
Since World War Two never have so many Americans spoken a foreign language at home.