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The verb 'will' is incorrectly placed in the sentence
Thread poster: Hector Zedonivich
Oct 19, 2012

The deal appears to be a compromise between France and Germany, who earlier disagreed over the timing and over the number of banks the ECB would oversee.
A legislative framework is to be in place by 1 January, with the supervisory body starting work later in 2013.
The timetable remains important, because only when the body is fully operational will the eurozone's new rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), be able to recapitalise struggling banks directly, without adding to a country's sovereign debt pile.
Berlin wanted to put the brakes on over this and much wrangling lies ahead, the BBC's Europe editor Gavin Hewitt says.
........................................................................................................................................................................................

The timetable remains important, because only when the body is fully operational will the eurozone's new rescue fund ...
For me, the verb 'will' in the above sentence is meaningless.
Please tell me whether it is correct and how.


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septima
Local time: 12:06
It's fine Oct 19, 2012

only when the body is fully operational will the eurozone's new rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), be able to recapitalise struggling banks directly

only when [X] will [Y] be able to [Z]

i.e. when [X], [Y] will be able to [Z]. But only when [X].

hth s


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Hebrew to English
It goes with "be able to" Oct 19, 2012

There's nothing wrong with it, it's just been separated from it's "other half" by another clause (which is a longer than usual subject). Not unusual in this type of writing.

Using different word order:

The Eurozone's new rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will be able to recapitalise struggling banks directly, without adding to a country's sovereign debt pile only when the body is fully operational, which is why the timetable remains important.

I must stress though that there really is nothing wrong with the original!

Also, this is more a Eng-Eng KudoZ question, n'est-ce pas?

[Edited at 2012-10-19 17:33 GMT]


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:06
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, it is correct. Oct 19, 2012

It is absolutely correct. You can read about inversion in English -- this may help.

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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:06
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Grammatically correct Oct 19, 2012

It's grammatically correct. A handful of restricting or negative adverbs such as "only", "never", "hardly", etc. cause the inversion of the standard word order when placed at the beginning of the sentence.

If your rephrase the sentence, the word order will be normal:
The eurozone's fund will only be able to ..., when...

Hardly had he entered the roon, when the phone rang.
Only after finishing this task will you be able to go out.
Never before has the world seen such a spectacle!


There are some more situations when this happens:
http://www.grammaring.com/subject-auxiliary-inversion


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:06
German to English
+ ...
Agree - correct Oct 19, 2012

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:

It's grammatically correct. A handful of restricting or negative adverbs such as "only", "never", "hardly", etc. cause the inversion of the standard word order when placed at the beginning of the sentence.

If your rephrase the sentence, the word order will be normal:
The eurozone's fund will only be able to ..., when...

Hardly had he entered the room, when the phone rang.
Only after finishing this task will you be able to go out.
Never before has the world seen such a spectacle!


There are some more situations when this happens:
http://www.grammaring.com/subject-auxiliary-inversion


Although grammatically correct, it does not read very smoothly because of the word order:

The timetable remains important, because only when the body is fully operational will the eurozone's new rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), be able to recapitalise struggling banks directly, without adding to a country's sovereign debt pile.

I would switch the two phrases around thus:

The timetable remains important, because only when the body is fully operational will the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - the eurozone's new rescue fund - be able to recapitalise struggling banks directly, without adding to a country's sovereign debt pile.


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Hector Zedonivich
TOPIC STARTER
I still find it difficult to grasp Oct 19, 2012

To be candid, I find it difficult to understand.

Well, I don't know English grammar very well.

.....................................................................................................................................................................................
Heike has written the following:
Only after finishing this task will you be able to go out.

I think the word order is out of order. It should be the following:
Only after finishing this task you will be able to go out.

Look at the following:
It is raining cats and dogs. So you will be able to go out when he rain stops.
....................................................................................................................................................................................

Ty has written it in simple language. I have no difficulty in understanding his sentence.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Only if you are not a native speaker will you be surprised... Oct 19, 2012

It's fine, but just not as frequent a usage as others. It's similar to the inversion forms in "Should you..." conditionals.
"only when the body is fully operational will the eurozone's new rescue fund...."
Cf:
"only when he won the lottery did he finally buy the Ferrari..."
"only towards the end of the game did the team manage to score..."
etc.

BTW I disagree that it doesn't flow well. It's simply a less common usage than others of "will" and should pose no problem to any educated native speaker.

[Edited at 2012-10-19 19:37 GMT]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's OK Oct 19, 2012

All of us as native speakers agree.

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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
French to English
+ ...
Inversion after negative polarity Oct 20, 2012

Hector Zedonivich wrote:
I think the word order is out of order. It should be the following:
Only after finishing this task you will be able to go out.


Hi Hector --

Based on various other languages, you might *think* that that ought to be the grammatical word order.

But it turns out that in English, it isn't.

After elements of "negative polarity", the grammatical word order in English is to invert the subject and verb (following the usual inversion rules of English, so inverting the subject with the auxiliary if one is present, else inserting the dummy auxiliary "do" and inverting that).

So for example:

"[Not in a million years] WILL THEY ever help me."
"[Never in my life] DID I dream of becoming a translator."
"[Only after much consideration] DID I decide to become a translator."
"[For only a few moments] DID HE regret his decision."


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:06
German to English
+ ...
What Henry said Oct 20, 2012

And in both US and UK English.

[Edited at 2012-10-20 01:12 GMT]


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Hector Zedonivich
TOPIC STARTER
I just want to thank everybody. Oct 20, 2012

The inversion of the word order is simple for the native speakers.
It is not easy for me.


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
French to English
+ ...
Inrterestingly, could be part of the "native speaker" test? Oct 20, 2012

There have been threads recently on how to devise a "native speaker" test. One of the points I have mentioned before is that one possible test is to test speakers' competence on points that are "on the fringe" of the grammar: cases that rarely come up in practice, but when they do, there is near consensus among native speakers.

One test could be recognising, for example, cases that require or are compatible with inversion vs cases that don't. In view of the foregoing, cases such as the following are interesting:

"Only a few miles away, [they found/did they find] the victim's body."
"Only once, [they found/did they find] the victim's body."

Sorry, just a random thought I wanted to share!


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Hebrew to English
Random but spot on! Oct 20, 2012

Neil Coffey wrote:

There have been threads recently on how to devise a "native speaker" test. One of the points I have mentioned before is that one possible test is to test speakers' competence on points that are "on the fringe" of the grammar: cases that rarely come up in practice, but when they do, there is near consensus among native speakers.

One test could be recognising, for example, cases that require or are compatible with inversion vs cases that don't. In view of the foregoing, cases such as the following are interesting:

"Only a few miles away, [they found/did they find] the victim's body."
"Only once, [they found/did they find] the victim's body."

Sorry, just a random thought I wanted to share!


Agreed, I had a similar fleeting thought

[Edited at 2012-10-20 20:02 GMT]


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Umang Dholabhai  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 16:36
Member
English to Gujarati
+ ...
As a non-native speaker.. Oct 21, 2012

I too agree that the sentence flows smoothly.

Why just the native speakers?


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