Negative and “Almost Negative” Adverbs at the Beginning of a Sentence
In some situations, you can put an adverb of frequency at the beginning of a sentence. When this adverb is negative (such as never) or almost negative (rarely), the sentence must be in question word order.
e.g. I have never seen such a system of government
Never have I seen such a system of government.
It rarely snows in Toronto in January.
Rarely does it rain in Toronto in January.
The most common “negative” and “almost negative” adverbs are: seldom, scarcely, hardly, not until, never, nowhere, barely.
This is not common in modern conversational English, but it occurs regularly in academic written English,
Paraphrase these sentences, and move the negative/almost negative adverb to the beginning of the sentence.
- I have never been so scared.
- They hardly finished eating when it started to rain.
- She never arrives on time.
- We will seldom meet after this course finishes.
- He barely had time to finish his work yesterday.
- I rarely go to the gym during the week.
- You have never handed your work in on time,
- She seldom drinks alcohol.
- He almost never worries about his health.
- I have seen this nowhere.