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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Improve your English speaking skills with INVERSION!

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(crowd murmuring)

- Good afternoon, everyone.

The Prime Minister Joris Bonson will be here shortly.


- Happy birthday, Tom.

Nigel Peestain here from Daily Post.

Can we confirm that the Prime Minister did send his balls

to a woman who's not his wife?

- Sir, to clarify, he did not send his balls.

He was hacked.

- And also can we confirm--

- Should you have any questions just raise your hand

and he'll call on you.

Oh, here he is now, the Prime Minister Joris Bonson.

(cameras shutters clicking)

- Thank you.

I'd like to begin by thanking you all for coming.

As you may have heard,

photos of my private parts were sent

by a third party through my Facebook account to a woman.

I'd like to make one thing absolutely clear

Not once have I ever sent photos, videos,

or any digital media of my balls to anyone.

(cameras shutters clicking)


- Nigel Peestain, Daily Post.

Are we to believe that you were hacked?

- Yes, yes indeed.

That's exactly what I'm saying.

I was hacked.

Yes, in fact no sooner had I found out

that I had been hacked

than I tore up my little password paper

that's next to my laptop

and changed my Facebook password.

In fact, I'd like to thank my assistant, Tom,

for bringing to my attention

that my private photos were being sold to the press.

In fact, when he found out he came over and told me,

"Listen, you've got to stop sending any more."

He stopped it.

(cameras shutters clicking)

Yes, you?

- Yes, Dawn Garrity, Zorra News.

What is "Password Paper"?

- Oh yes, password paper.

Yes, I write my password on very, very small,

very tiny little piece of paper.

It's a numerical code, very cryptic.

It's very safe.

- What was it then, your birthday?

- (laughs) No, no, no, don't be ridiculous.

No, it's his birthday.

(cameras shutters clicking)

I do the same thing with the code to my safe at home.

Not once in my life has that been robbed.

- And is that code his birthday too?

- No, come on, let's not be silly here.

Let's not be silly dickens.

No, that one's my birthday.

- [Press] Awe!

- Look, more important than any of that right now

is that out there there are photos of my private balls.

In fact, Tom told me I couldn't trust her.

(press murmuring)

Next, yes, you.

- Prime Minister, why did you take pictures of your balls?

- Oh really, what is it with these silly questions?

Well obviously it's my mother.

She's probably sick, wasn't she?

- [Tom] It was medical.

- She's medicine.

- It was medical.

- It's medical reasons.

Next, you.

- Under no circumstances should a prime minister

be uploading pictures of his testicles online.

In no way do we the public find this acceptable.

- No, nor should you, sir, nor should you.

No, in fact not only have I switched all my passwords now

but from now on I'll be writing all of my passwords

on much smaller, much tinier bits of paper.

Now should you have any further questions

please direct them to my very capable assistant, Tom.

- Actually I quit.

- [Dick] Happy birthday.

- Thanks. (feet stepping)

If you want to speak more formally, dramatically,

or just emphatically (fist smacking)

then you need inversion.

(R&B music)

And today I'm going to show you

some fun and actually useful ways

that you will use inversion in your everyday English.

Inversion is actually super easy.

It just means putting an auxiliary

or a modal verb before the subject.

And actually if you have ever asked a question

you already know how to do that.

Okay, let's try this example.

Would you go to a dangerous place alone?

My answer is never.

If I want to be dramatic or formal or emphatic

with my answer I can use inversion.

We'll keep this question form, that's good,

but that adverb, we'll put that at the beginning

so it reads like this.

Never would I, this is my answer.

Never would I go to a dangerous area alone.

Now it's not a question.

Now it's a statement.

I'm being dramatic, formal, or emphatic.

This is inversion.

Now you know how it works.

Congratulations, I'll see you in the next class.

(R&B music)

Oh, sorry, did you want more examples?

Yeah, I can do that.

I can do that, sure.

Okay, this next one, let's do it together.

Work with me here.

Let's imagine you meet someone

and you want to emphasize wow.

I don't often meet really fun people

but you're cool, you're cool.

You can emphasize this using inversion.

Remember we'll take that adverb, put it at the front.

That auxiliary verb or modal verb,

that comes before the subject.

So that has been moved, right?

So you can say wow, you are so cool.

I mean no often do I meet really fun people.

You see, it just sounds more emphatic this way.

Also notice that the adverbs we used,

never, not often, these are negative adverbial phrases

and frequency adverbs.

So we don't use the positive adverbs.

For example this, if I want to say

but yeah, often do I meet really fun people,

that doesn't sound good.

No positive adverbs here.

If this is confusing, don't worry.

I have so many examples.

You are going to be so bored

but you'll understand inversion perfectly, don't worry.

So another example.

Again, you want to be dramatic or emphatic.

(jazz music)

Okay, a boyfriend and girlfriend,

the guy feels insecure or whatever

and he asks have you ever cheated on me?

And she wants to emphasize that no, never, not once.

That's our negative adverb, right?

Next again, it keeps that question form

but it's not a question, it's a statement now.

Can we use ever here?

Yeah, that adds to the drama.

It adds to the emphasis.

Not once have I ever cheated on you.

You see how emphatic that sounds?

That sounds so much more emphatic

than just have you ever cheated on me?


So I mean if you're writing

a soap opera inversion's brilliant.

(jazz music)

In a casual, normal conversation,

oh Maria, (blows raspberry) I hardly ever speak to Maria,

that sounds casual.

But if you want to emphasize this,

if you want to be dramatic you can use inversion.

Quick test, you know what?

Pause the video.

Write your answer.

Then play the video when you're ready.

(jazz music)

Okay, let's do this together.

We're putting the adverb at the beginning

and then which auxiliary verb?

Remember, this is present simple, so do.

Subject, it's the same.

Hardly ever do I speak to Maria.

(sighs) It's always Maria.

Question for you.

Which one word means hardly ever?

Rarely. Pronunciation, I know it's difficult.

Say it with me, rarely, rarely.

British English, rarely.

American English, rarely.

(jazz music)

An example using rarely could be...

What do we change?

What else changes?

Again, you're sounding more emphatic.

Rarely do I go to the gym.

I feel like you understand how the form works now.

Now you need to learn some fixed expressions

that we often use with inversion.

For example, (claps) you want to say

absolutely no way to a situation.

We have an expression for this, under no circumstances.

Under no circumstances just means

there is no situation, there's no condition

that this is acceptable or possible, absolutely not, no way.

Okay, so you go to a job interview

and they say okay, for this job

we need you to work for free.

So would you work for free?

You want to say (blows raspberry) no way, hell no, no way.

Now under no circumstances, that's a more formal way

to say hell no.

How do we use inversion with this?

Under no circumstances would I work for free.

A less formal version of under no circumstances

is no way in hell.


(jazz music)

You see a haunted building full of ghosts.

(jazz music)

You friend asks you (laughs) would you go inside?

You want to say never, that will never happen.

Absolutely no way.

Use that expression.

(jazz music)

No way in hell would I go inside.

You're emphasizing absolutely not,

that would never happen.

Similar to that is the expression in no way.

This also means it's impossible.

It's not going to happen.

This one, it's not formal.

It's not informal.

It's quite neutral.

(jazz music)

One time I was in a restaurant and they served live octopus.

And I thought

(jazz music)

could I eat a live octopus?

No way, absolutely not, no.

So we'll use in no way.

(jazz music)

It's not a question, it's a statement.

In no way could I eat a live octopus, no.

I know in some places you do it

but I want to know from you in the comments.

Could you eat a live octopus?

We have quite a few expressions

that we use with inversion.

Here's another one.

(jazz music)

Okay, this boyfriend and girlfriend are arguing

and he wants to say you never do anything for me.

And she wants to say oh really?

(jazz music)

Well two things.

I paid for your bicep implants

and I bought you those jeans, so.

She can make this sound more formal

and more emphatic by adding

(jazz music)

not only first thing but also another thing.

Again this is inversion

so we need to swap some things around.

This sentence we will invert.

Remember it's that question form again so not only.

We're dealing with past tense now.

Now we're getting a bit more difficult.

Past simple, hmm, what's the question?


Not only did I pay.

Not only did I pay for your bicep implants

but also I bought you those jeans.

Okay, so you notice this one, this one doesn't change.

Only that one changes.

Oh really, not only did I pay for your bicep implants

but I also bought those jeans.

So when you want to say that you did multiple things

in a dramatic, emphatic,

or formal way, inversion, inversion.

Okay, quick test for you.

You want to eat pizza (sighs)

but you need to convince yourself that you deserve it.

I mean you always deserve it.

You always deserve pizza but

(jazz music)

(blowing air) should I have pizza today?

Have I been healthy this week?

So you make a list.

What have you done that's healthy?

(jazz music)

I've been to the gym and I ate a salad today.

That's pretty healthy.

Multiple things using inversion

use not only but also.

Pause the video.

Write your answer or say it out loud when you know it.

Then press play when you're ready.

(jazz music)

Of course I deserve a pizza.

Not only have I been to the gym but I also ate a salad.

I'm super healthy.

Okay, another very common way of using inversion

is to say this happened then immediately this happened.

For example, you saw an accident

and immediately you called for an ambulance.

You say this expression.

No sooner blah blah blah than blah blah blah.

So in this case I saw an accident,

then immediately I called an ambulance.

Two actions in the past.

This one happened first so we change this to past perfect.

No sooner had I seen the accident

than I called an ambulance.

So just remember the form.

No sooner blah blah blah than blah blah blah.

(blows raspberry) No sooner had I seen the accident

then I called an ambulance.

You're walking in the street.

You see a pretty lady.

Hi, everything is great.

But then you look down.

Uh oh, before I looked down I didn't realize

that I wasn't wearing pants.

(jazz music)

Only when I looked down did I realize

I wasn't wearing any pants, brilliant.

Only when I looked down, that stays normal.

The next part, that is when we change the verb

and the subject.

Next, you want to say wow,

I had no idea that this was going to happen

or I had no idea that this was happening at that moment.

We have an expression for that

and it's this, little did I know.

(jazz music)

Your friend tells you a crazy story about her day.

She was twerking in her office

but she didn't know

her boss was watching the whole time.

(jazz music)

So we want to say that this and this were happening

at the same time.

Which word do we use for that?

We use while.

My boss was watching while I was twerking

but, but I had no idea.

So remember that sentence we use.

I thought I was alone in the office.

Little did I know my boss was watching while I was twerking.

Try your own examples using inversion in the comments.

It's something that you need to add to your speaking skills.

So practice, practice, practice,

and I'll see you in the next class.

(R&B music)

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